Monday, November 14, Eyewitness News at 6

11:55 PM, Nov 14, 2011   |    comments
  • Share
  • Print
  • - A A A +
  • FILED UNDER

HELLO EVERYONE AND THANKS FOR JOINING US.I'M LEAH JOHNSON..
AND I'M FRANK MALLOY..THIS IS EYEWITNESS NEWS AT SIX.

OUR TOP STORY AT SIX... THE MAN WHO ALLEGEDLY MURDERED AND DISMEMBERED MERCER LAW GRAUDATE LAUREN GIDDINGS... COULD WALK OUT OF JAIL THIS WEEK...
BUT GIDDINGS' SISTER KAITLYN GIDDINGS WHEELER SAYS.... SHE DOESN'T THINK STEPHEN MCDANIEL WILL BE RELEASED BECAUSE HE STILL POSES A RISK TO PUBLIC SAFETY.
ELEANOR LISSITZYN JOINS US WITH MORE... ELEANOR?

THE BIBB COUNTY PUBLIC DEFENDER'S OFFICE SAYS... PROSECUTORS HAVE NINETY DAYS... FROM THE DATE OF ARREST.. TO CONVINCE A GRAND JURY TO BRING FORMAL CHARGES....THAT'S CALLED AN INDICTMENT.
OTHERWISE... ASSISTANT PUBLIC DEFENDER RICK WALLER SAYS... MCDANIEL IS ENTITLED ASK A JUDGE TO SET BOND.
MCDANIEL CURRENTLY FACES TEN FELONY CHARGES.
PROSECUTORS FILED THE LATEST ONES... SEVEN COUNTS OF CHILD EXPLOITATATION... ON AUGUST 23.
THAT MEANS DISTRICT ATTORNEY GREG WINTERS HAS UNTIL MONDAY TO INDICT MCDANIEL.. OR RISK RELEASING HIM ON BOND.
I SPOKE WITH WINTERS MONDAY... HE WON'T CONFIRM WHEN HE PLANS TO BRING MCDANIEL BEFORE A GRAND JURY.
BUT HIS OFFICE SAYS THERE IS A BOND HEARING SET FOR MCDANIEL ON THURSDAY... JUST AHEAD OF THAT NINETY DAY DEADLINE.
MCDANIEL'S LAWYER....FLOYD BUFORD... SAYS HE PLANS TO ARGUE MCDANIEL'S TIES TO THE COMMUNITY... AND LACK OF ARRESTS BEFORE LAST AUGUST... MAKE HIM UNLIKELY TO RUN AWAY... OR POSE A RISK TO PUBLIC SAFETY.
BUT KAITLYN WHEELER SAYS... SHE'S CONFIDENT A JUDGE WILL DISAGREE.
I SPOKE TO HER BY PHONE... SHE SAYS SHE CAN'T IMAGINE A MAN FACING AS MANY FELONIES AS MCDANIEL... WOULDN'T BE CONSIDERED A HAZARD.
"They have a reason for holding him this long so, if they don't think he's a harm to the public, I don't know why he's been in jail. All the evidence is pointing his way from what we've known and what's been released. We don't know much, just like everybody else, but they have been holding him for a reason, and they charged him for a reason."
SHE'S SAID ALL ALONG THAT SHE'D RATHER THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY'S OFFICE DO THEIR JOB WELL... THAN TRY TO HURRY THE CASE ALONG.
BUT SHE SAYS THE FAMILY IS FEELING IMPATIENT.
SOMETHING ELSE I LEARNED FROM THE PUBLIC DEFENDER'S OFFICE... IF THERE'S NO INDICTMENT BY MONDAY....MCDANIEL IS ENTITLED HAVE BOND SET... BUT THAT DOESN'T MEAN HE'LL BE ABLE TO AFFORD IT.
RICK WALLER ISN'T CONNECTED WITH THE CASE... BUT HE SAYS IN OTHER MURDER CASES HE'S SEEN BOND SET AS HIGH AS A MILLION DOLLARS.
FRANK... LEAH?
THE GRAND JURY IS SCHEDULED TO CONVENE TOMORROW AT NINE A.M. AT THE BIBB COUNTY COURTHOUSE.

PART OF THE FORT HILL NEIGHBORHOOD IN EAST MACON IS GETTING A FACELIFT.
THIS MORNING CITY CREWS CUT THE GRASS...TRIMMED TREES... AND CLEANED UP STREETS IN THE FIVE BLOCKS BETWEEN SHURLING DRIVE AND HALL STREET AND FORT HILL AND MAYNARD STREET.
THAT AREA IS FIRST IN THE CITY'S FIVE BY FIVE PLAN TO SPEND FIVE WEEKS BEAUTIFYING FIVE BLOCKS IN EACH WARD.
THE CITY WILL ALSO CHECK STREET LIGHTS... REPAIR SIDEWALKS... AND BOARD UP ABANDONED HOUSES.
SOME PEOPLE SAY IT'S A STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION.
"This neighborhood do need a lot more work done to it but whatever is being done to better it does help but it needs quite a bit of work."
"It should make a difference maybe if you clean it up a little bit maybe people will respect the neighborhood a little more."
AS PART OF THE 5 BY FIVE PROGRAM.... THE CITY PLANS TO HOLD A COMMUNITY FAIR ON DECEMBER THIRD AT THE ROSA JACKSON RECREATION CENTER ON MAYNARD STREET..

THE TWO-YEAR-OLD WARNER ROBINS ANIMAL SHELTER IS RUNNING LOW ON SPACE.
SOME CITY LEADERS SAY IT WAS BUILT TOO SMALL TO HOUSE ALL THE DOGS AND CATS FROM WARNER ROBINS... CENTERVILLES AND HOUSTON COUNTY.
AS LORRA LYNCH JONES EXPLAINS... THE DEBATE NOW IS WHAT... IF ANYTHING... SHOULD BE DONE ABOUT IT.
<<nats- barking dogs
ANIMAL CONTROL DIRECTOR GREG LANGSTON SAYS THE SHELTER STAYS NEARLY OR COMPLETELY FULL OF DOGS... (nats-meo)... AND CATS.
Greg Langston: (11:30) "I think the economy is getting so bad right now, people decide they don't want to keep their animals, they're just letting them go."
THAT ISSUE COMPOUNDED A PROBLEM THEY DISCOVERED JUST AFTER THIS SHELTER WAS OPENED IN 2009.
nats-
THE FORMER MAYOR DONALD WALKER... NOW DECEASED... AND COUNCIL MEMBER JOHN WILLIAMS NEGOTIATED A CONTRACT FOR HOUSTON COUNTY AND CENTERVILLE TO HOUSE THEIR ANIMALS AT THE CITY SHELTER.
(TAKE GFX)
THE CONTRACT PROMISED 40 DOG PENS AND 30 CAT SPOTS TO HOUSTON COUNTY AND CENTERVILLE... IN EXCHANGE FOR 250-THOUSAND DOLLARS.
THAT AMOUNTS TO HALF OF THE 80 DOG PENS... AND TWO-THIRDS OF THE CAT SPACES THE CITY BUILT.
Greg Langston: (12:50) "Warner should have more pens because we do bring in quite a bit more animals than they do."
THE NUMBERS SHOW CENTERVILLE HAS BROUGHT IN 99 ANIMALS THIS YEAR... HOUSTON COUNTY 852... AND WARNER ROBINS TWICE THAT OF BOTH CITIES COMBINED... AT 2277.
nats-
MAYOR CHUCK SHAHEEN SAYS HE DOESN'T KNOW WHY WARNER ROBINS GETS A DISPORTIONATE AMOUNT OF THE SPACE.
Chuck Shaheen: (3:10) "I don't really know if it was built too small at the time, what I like is that the crews are making it work, right now with the taxpayers money we have."
SHAHEEN SAYS THE CITY RECENTLY ASKED FOR BIDS TO BUILD AN EXPANSION.
THE LOWEST CAME BACK AT 320-THOUSAND... A PRICE TAG HE CALLS... TOO MUCH.
Chuck Shaheen: 3:46) "We don't have any money right now to pay for another pod. That's where we are."
STD>>
THE CITY HAS ABOUT 240-THOUSAND DOLLARS TO PAY FOR THE EXPANSION.
SHAHEEN SAYS HE'S CONSIDERING ADDING THE PROJECT TO THE 2012 SPLOST LIST.

A 65-YEAR-OLD MAN'S CARETAKER FOUND HIM DEAD IN HIS HOME ON COLLEGE STREET LANE THIS AFTERNOON.
THAT'S BEHIND THE BEAR'S DEN RESTAURANT NEAR TATTNALL SQUARE PARK.
BIBB COUNTY CORONER LEON JONES SAYS HE BELIEVES THE MAN HAS BEEN DEAD FOR AT LEAST A WEEK.
HE SAYS THE CAUSE OF DEATH ISN'T KNOWN...
JONES DIDN'T RELEASE HIS NAME BECAUSE THE FAMILY HAS NOT BEEN NOTIFIED.
MACON POLICE SPOKESWOMAN JAMI GAUDET SAYS POLICE ARE INVESTIGATING...AND WAITING FOR AUTOPSY RESULTS.

A HOUSTON COUNTY JUDGE THREW OUT A LAWSUIT ACCUSING THE CITY OF WARNER ROBINS OF VIOLATING GEORGIA'S OPEN RECORDS LAW.
FLORIDA COMPANY ALLISON EQUITIES CLAIMED IN A 2009 LAWSUIT THAT THE CITY FAILED TO RESPOND TO THEIR REQUEST FOR DOCUMENTS ON A POSSIBLE LAND PURCHASE.
BUT SUPERIOR COURT JUDGE GEORGE NUNN WROTE IN A DECISION THAT ALLISON WANTED TO SELL THE PROPERTY TO THE CITY... BUT THE CITY WASN'T INTERESTED.
HE SAID HE FELT THE COMPANY FILED THE REQUEST AND LAWSUIT IN ORDER TO COAX THE CITY TO NEGOTIATE.
NUNN WROTE... "THERE WAS NEVER ANY EVIDENCE THAT ANY OF THESE RECORDS REVEALED ANYTHING IMPROPER... INAPPROPRIATE OR ILLEGAL" BY LOCAL AUTHORITIES.

THE U-S SUPREME COURT SAYS IT WILL HEAR ARGUMENTS NEXT YEAR OVER PRESIDENT OBAMA'S HEALTH CARE OVERHAUL.
THE ARGUMENTS COULD COME IN MARCH... AND THE DECISION IN LATE JUNE.
THAT'S MORE THAN FOUR MONTHS BEFORE ELECTION DAY.
REPUBLICANS SAY THE LAW IS UNCONSTITUTIONAL... BUT RULINGS FROM LOWER COURTS HAVE BEEN SPLIT.
THE WHITE HOUSE SAYS THE LAW IS CONSTITUTIONAL... AND IS CONFIDENT THE SUPREME COURT WILL AGREE.
WE SPOKE WITH SOME PEOPLE IN MACON... TO FIND OUT HOW THEY FEEL ABOUT THE LAW.
Lauren Lunsford: I think it's important because a lot of people in the emergency rooms these days are avoidable because people can't afford to pay for their healthcare a lot of other people have to take on that debt for them.
Krystal Lewis: I don't think it's fair and I don't think it's constitutional, but at the same time I don't think it's a bad idea for people to have health, health insurance.
Jessie Elliott: It's unfair and everything because some people are not able to afford it and
money the government gives them and everything is not enough for them to pay for the insurance.
Joel Smith: Why not? It works in so many other places. I mean it's kind of sad I have a broken wisdom tooth. I could be on a cruise to Jamaica right and get the tooth fixed for free, you know what I mean, but here I can't because I don't have health insurance.

TODAY'S 13WMAZ DOT COM WEB POLL ASKS... SHOULD THE U-S SUPREME COURT OVERTURN PRESIDENT OBAMA'S HEALTH CARE LAW?
SO FAR 78 PERCENT OF YOU SAY YES.
22 PERCENT SAY NO.
VOTE NOW... LOOK FOR THE QUESTION ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF OUR HOMEPAGE AT 13WMAZ DOT COM.

TWO WOMEN ARE WORKING TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE FOR CANCER PATIENTS.
IN TONIGHT'S HERO CENTRAL REPORT... WE FOUND OUT WHY...AND HOW THEY'RE RAISING MONEY AND SUPPORT FOR PEOPLE FIGHTING FOR THEIR LIVES.
"I just decided to do it locally so that I could help people that I know and people from my hometown."

BRIANNA CALLAWAY HAS HER HANDS FULL WITH CLIENTS AT THIS MILLEDGEVILLE HAIR SALON... BUT THAT DOESN'T KEEP HER FROM REACHING OUT TO OTHERS AND LENDING SUPPORT WHEN SHE CAN.... SHE SAYS SHE GOT THE URGE TO DO MORE AFTER HER MOTHER WAS UNDERWENT A DOUBLE MASTECTOMY FOR BREAST CANCER.

"Ever since then, I've been very close with the cancer stuff. Because before then, you know, you never think about it because things like that don't happen to your mom. They happen to other people, not to your mom. Then it hit me that it can happen to anybody."

CALLAWAY SET OUT TO USE HER TALENT AS A STYLIST TO HELP THOSE LIKE HER MOTHER.

"I colored pink extensions to put in people's hair for eight dollars."
"They loved it. They were all for it because it wasn't anything permanent."

SHE RAISED A LITTLE MORE THAN TWO HUNDRED DOLLARS FOR A NON-PROFIT GROUP CALLED GEORGIA CANCER SUPPORT.... STARTED BY ROBBIE WHITE.

"I was very touched, humbled and surprised, humbled and surprised that she would do that all by herself.

WHITE SURVIVED COLON CANCER BUT NOW SHE'S FIGHTING LUNG CANCER.

"When you hear the words, you have cancer, your life completely changes."

SHE SAYS THE AREA NEEDS MORE FINANCIAL AND EMOTIONAL SUPPORT GROUPS .. THAT'S WHY SHE DECIDED TO START ONE OF HER OWN.

"If you have a cancer family that needs help here in Milledgeville, sometimes the resources are not here.
We feel like God will bless our organization and we'll be able to help cancer patients of families who are truly in need.

ROBBIE WHITE... FOUNDER OF THE GEORGIA CANCER SUPPORT GROUP SAYS THEY'RE ALREADY WORKING WITH OTHER CANCER GROUPS IN THE AREA.
SHE SAYS THEY HOPE TO RECEIVE A FIVE THOUSAND DOLLAR GRANT SOON TO HELP CANCER PATIENTS WHO NEED TREATMENT.

LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS FROM EIGHT CENTRAL GEORGIA COUNTIES CAME TOGETHER TODAY... FOR THE ANNUAL CRIMESTOPPERS LUNCHEON.
THE LUNCHEON IS A WAY FOR CRIMESTOPPERS TO SHOW THEIR APPRECIATION FOR OFFICERS AND SAY THANKS FOR AND COMMUNITY SUPPORT.
MACON'S DOWNTOWN ROTARY THIS YEAR PRESENTED CRIMESTOPPERS WITH 103 THOUSAND DOLLARS...THEIR BIGGEST DONATION EVER.
MACON POLICE DEPUTY CHIEF MIKE CARSWELL SAYS THE BEST PART OF CRIMESTOPPERS IS THAT THE TIPSTERS REMAIN ANONYMOUS.
Deputy Chief Mike Carswell " well people can just call in information and they dont have to give there name that is a great system and it makes people more wiling to come foward and assest law enforcement"
LOCAL POLICE THIS YEAR HAVE MADE MORE THAN FOUR HUNDRED ARRESTS FROM TIPS FROM CRIMESTOPPERS.
SINCE CRIMESTOPPERS BEGAN... THEY'VE AWARDED MORE THAN FOUR HUNDRED FIFTY THOUSAND DOLLARS IN REWARDS... FOR MORE THAN THREE THOUSAND ARRESTS.

IT'S TIME TO TAKE A LOOK AT OUR FORSYTH "WHERE YOU LIVE" PAGE.
RACHEL GARZA WON A BLUE RIBBON FROM COUNTRY LIVING MAGAZINE FOR HER BLOG, "ALWAYS A PROJECT."
GARZA AND HER BLOG WILL BE FEATURED IN THE NEXT COUNTRY LIVING MAGAZINE... ON NEWSSTANDS NOVEMBER 22.
HER BLOG WAS CHOSEN FROM MORE THAN 700 ENTRIES AS THE WINNER FOR THE CRAFT CATEGORY.
GARZA SAYS THEY FLEW HER TO NEW YORK FOR A LUNCHEON AND AWARDS CEREMONY.
TO READ GARZA'S CURRENT BLOG ENTRY, YOU CAN HEAD OVER TO OUR FORSYTH-MONROE WHERE YOU LIVE PAGE.

THANKS FOR JOINING US.... WE'LL BE BACK TONIGHT AT 11.
BUT REMEMBER...THE NEWS IS ALWAYS ON AT 13WMAZ.COM !
THE EVENING NEWS IS UP NEXT.
HAVE A SAFE NIGHT EVERYONE.

Most Watched Videos