Tuesday, April 3, Eyewitness News at 6

7:30 PM, Apr 3, 2012   |    comments
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HELLO EVERYONE AND THANKS FOR JOINING US.... I'M LEAH JOHNSON..
AND I'M LORRA LYNCH JONES
THIS IS EYEWITNESS NEWS AT SIX.
FRANK MALLOY HAS THE NIGHT OFF.

OUR TOP STORY AT SIX... PROSECUTORS AGREE THAT ACCUSED KILLER STEPHEN MCDANIEL IS ENTITLED TO BOND IN THE MURDER CASE OF MERCER LAW SCHOOL GRADUATE LAUREN GIDDINGS.
HIS LAWYERS ASKED THE JUDGE TO SET HIS BOND AT A 100-THOUSAND DOLLARS... BUT THE JUDGE HASN'T MADE A DECISION YET.
CANDACE ADORKA WAS IN THE COURTROOM AND JOINS US WITH MORE.
THE QUESTION AT THIS HEARING WASN'T IF THE JUDGE SHOULD SET BOND... BUT HOW MUCH.
BOTH SIDES MADE THEIR ARGUMENTS AND PRESENTED EVIDENCE...
THE DEFENSE TEAM... FLOYD BUFORD AND FRANK HOGUE... TRIED TO CONVINCE THE JUDGE THAT MCDANIEL WOULD -NOT- FLEE TO AVOID COURT... THAT HE WOULDN'T COMMIT A FELONY... OR INTIMIDATE WITNESSES AND OBSTRUCT JUSTICE.
THEY TOLD THE JUDGE SETTING BOND AT ANY MORE THAN 100 THOUSAND DOLLARS WOULD BE EXCESSIVE... BECAUSE THE MCDANIEL FAMLY WOULD HAVE A TOUGH TIME POSTING IT.
Buford: "It says in the affadavit that he is employed as a residential painter and a good week of work he normally earns about $1,000 per week. But the economy has been poor and his business has suffered. Mrs. McDaniel the mother has worked int he past as a preschool music teacher, but she lost her job as a result of downsizing and she's currently emplyed as a homemaker."
DISTRICT ATTORNEY GREG WINTERS COUNTERED WITH THE ARGUMENT THAT THIS IS A SERIOUS CASE... TOO SERIOUS TO SET BOND ANY LOWER THAN 2-POINT-5 MILLION DOLLARS.
TO DRIVE HOME THAT POINT HE WENT THROUGH WHAT HE CALLED THE FACTS OF THE CASE... HE READ FROM A MESSAGE BOARD POSTING THAT INVESTIGATORS HAVE TIED TO MCDANIEL.
Winters "Make her a special drink called a Mickey Finn. She's out cold. I finally lose my v-card. Oh no she O.D.'d and died. I barbeque her arms and legs to celebrate losing my v-card. Not in to organ meat. throw her torso out. Lose it on tv while the cops are discovering her remains. You mad virgins. that is a post that comes from the psotings that he does. Your honor there is no doubt that Mr. McDaniel is intitled to a bond. We do not contest that.
WINTERS ALSO SAYS INVESTIGATORS FOUND WOMEN'S UNDERWEAR IN MCDANIELS SOCK DRAWER WITH D-N-A THAT MATCHED GIDDINGS... AND THEY FOUND A SAW WITH BLOOD AND FLESH ON IT THAT ALSO MATCHED GIDDINGS.
HOGUE COUNTERED THAT IT WAS ALL CIRCUMSTANTIAL EVIDENCE... AND THAT WITHOUT A CONFESSION OR EYEWITNESSES... THE JUDGE SHOULD SET A REASONABLE BOND.
I ASKED BOTH SIDES WHAT THEIR IMPRESSIONS WERE AFTER THE HEARING....
"A lot of it was familiar but there were some new accusations that I had not heard. the new ones do you think they were damaging? That's what he anticipates the states case to be and we'll just have to look in to it and you know we have and investigator out there that's been working on it. and we'll follow up on it.
Winters: "Obviously we're just waiting now for the ruling form the court and once we get that then we'll be able to see what it is but obviously now the judge took it under advisement and will send us an order about the issues we addressed "
THE JUDGE SAID HE COULDN'T MAKE A DECISION ON THE SPOT BECAUSE THE DEFENSE TEAM HADN'T PROVIDED EVIDENCE THAT MCDANIEL WASN'T A DANGER TO HIMSELF.
FRANK HOGUE SAYS THEY WILL APPEAL IMMEDIATELY IF THE JUDGE DENIES BOND OR SETS IT AROUND 2-POINT-5 MILLION.
AFTER THE THE BOND ISSUE IS SETTLED FOR THE MURDER CASE... THE JUDGE WOULD ALSO HAVE TO CONSIDER BOND IN MCDANIEL'S CHILD SEX EXPLOITATION CHARGES.... SO IT'S NOT DONE YET.
THANKS CANDACE.
THE NEXT PHASE OF THE CASE IS DISCOVERY.. WHERE THE D-A'S OFFICE WILL SHARE ALL THE EVIDENCE THEY HAVE WITH THE DEFENSE.
WINTERS SAYS THAT WILL HAPPEN BY APRIL 20TH... AND THE JUDGE TENTATIVELY SET THE NEXT HEARING IN THE MURDER CASE FOR NOVEMBER 12TH.

SOME MEMBERS OF LAUREN GIDDINGS FAMILY CAME OUT FOR THE HEARING TODAY.
GIDDINGS COUSIN.... KATHY MANN... SAYS THEY KEEP IN TOUCH WITH GREG WINTERS ABOUT ONCE A MONTH.
SO SHE SAYS SOME OF THE INFORMATION THAT CAME OUT TODAY... WASN'T A SHOCK.
SHE SAYS KNOWING WHAT WOULD BE ASKED AHEAD OF TIME... HELPS THE FAMILY COPE.
MANN DOESN'T THINK HE'LL GET OUT ON BOND... BUT SAYS SHE STILL WORRIES.
Kathy Mann, Blue Ridge: "If for some reason he were to make bail, I would be very upset. I think that the charges outweigh his right for bail in this instance. That's my opinion. It may not be the law. But it's my opinion, and I would hate to think that he would be free with a capital murder charge against him."
MANN SAYS THE REALITY OF IT ALL... IS WORSE THAN ANYTHING THEY'LL EVER HEAR IN COURT.

GEORGIA'S TWO U-S SENATORS ARE GETTING BEHIND JONES COUNTY TONIGHT IN ITS FIGHT FOR CHEAPER GAS.
SENATORS JOHNNY ISAKSON AND SAXBY CHAMBLISS WROTE THE ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY.
THEY ASKED THE E-P-A TO STOP REQUIRING GAS STATIONS IN JONES COUNTY TO SELL MORE EXPENSIVE GAS WITH SPECIAL ADDITIVES.
JONES COUNTY HAS TO DO THIS BECAUSE ITS ON A LIST OF 45 COUNTIES THAT CONTRIBUTE TO HIGH POLLUTION LEVELS IN METRO ATLANTA.
AUSTIN LEWIS EXPLAINS WHY JONES COUNTY IS ON THAT LIST.
<< nats off top of someone pumping gas
IN JONES COUNTY...SOME SAY YOU HAVE TO SHELL OUT A LITTLE MORE AT THE PUMP.
THAT'S BECAUSE THE STATE REQUIRES STORES TO SELL LOW SULPHUR.. LOW VOLATILITY GAS... TO LESSEN SMOG FORMING EMMISSIONS.
IT'S PART OF AN EFFORT TO BRING THE AIR QUALITY IN ATLANTA UP TO FEDERAL STANDARDS.
THE GEORGIA ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION DIVISION OR E-P-D CREATED THE STATE'S AIR QUALITY RULE WHICH REQUIRES CERTAIN COUNTIES TO USE THIS CLEANER GAS.
IT DETERMINED THAT 45 COUNTIES INFLUENCE ATLANTA AIR QUALITY ...INCLUDING JONES.
Commissioner Tommy Robinson, Jones County: The bottomline reason that we were given that Jones County was included in this is sometimes that the wind blows towards Atlanta from Jones County and we were told that there were studies that showed that.
COMMISSIONER TOMMY ROBINSON SAYS THE E-P-D TOLD THEM THEIR GAS EMISSIONS BLOWS INTO ATLANTA
Commissioner Tommy Robinson, Jones County: the weather comes from West to East, but they're saying that their studies show that the wind blows from Southeast towards the Northwest taking the air towards Atlanta.
WE CONTACTED GEORGIA E-P-D AND THEY SENT US THIS STATEMENT...
These counties were within approximately 20 miles of the Atlanta ozone nonattainment area. These reductions were a critical part of the plan to attain the ozone air quality standard in Atlanta.
JONES COUNTY HOPES TO GET RELIEF FROM THE PUMP SOON.
AUSTIN LEWIS 13 WMAZ EYEWITNESS NEWS.
>> MONROE COUNTY IS ALSO ON THAT LIST.
ACCORDING TO THE E-P-D... IT'S ALL IN THE HANDS OF THE E-P-A.
NOW THAT ATLANTA HAS MET FEDERAL STANDARDS...THE E-P-D ASKED THE FEDERAL AGENCY TO GIVE THEM THE FLEXIBILTY TO REMOVE COUNTIES OFF THAT LIST.

FOLKS WALKING ALONGSIDE THE WHITE LINE ON LOG CABIN DRIVE... COULD GET A SAFER ALTERNATIVE.
THAT'S IF MACON CITY COUNCIL PASSES A RESOLUTION TO BUILD SIDEWALKS BETWEEN HOLLINGSWORTH ROAD AND MERCER UNIVERSITY DRIVE.
AS AMY AUBERT SHOWS YOU... THE ONE MILE STRETCH SEES HEAVY TRAFFIC... FROM BOTH PEDESTRAINS... AND DRIVERS.
<<
Nats, cars

ON LOG CABIN DRIVE... SHARING THE ROAD... ISN'T ALWAYS EASY.

Ed Defore, Councilman: "Most cars weave toward the center of the road when people try and walk across there."

COUNCILMAN ED DEFORE HAS LIVED JUST OFF OF LOG CABIN DRIVE FOR ABOUT 60 YEARS... HE SAYS EVERY DAY... HE SEES WALKERS STRADDLING THE SIDE OF THE ROAD... ON A ONE MILE STRETCH BETWEEN HOLLINGSWORTH ROAD AND MERCER UNIVERSITY DRIVE.

Walker: "I walk up this way right here, up in this area.

GERMANY CARSWELL TRAVELS THE ROAD BY FOOT... ALMOST EVERY DAY.

Germany Carswell, Macon: "I think it's dangerous right now. It gets so congested in the afternooon."

Nats, cars

COUNCILMAN DEFORE CALLS THE AREA ONE OF THE HEAVIEST TRAFFIC SPOTS IN MACON.

Defore: "Every two and a half minutes, the red light up there turns out fifteen or twenty cars on this end, and on the other end, the red light, you can see it right now, fifteen to twenty cars."
Nats

HE'S PROPOSING A RESOLUTION... TO USE SPLOST FUNDS... TO CREATE SIDEWALKS... FOR PEDESTRIANS.

Defore: "You talkin about, it would probably be right along here, and take 6 to 7 foot west of that bridge all the way over to Walgreens."

DEFORE SAYS THE SIDEWALKS WOULD PROBABLY COST AROUND 250 THOUSAND... BUT HE DIDN'T HAVE AN ESTIMATE ON EXTENDING THE BRIDGE.

Nats, bridge traffic

UNTIL THE RESOLUTION GETS PASSED... IT'LL BE TIGHT QUARTERS... WHEN IT COMES TO SHARING THE ROAD.

AMY AUBERT 13WMAZ EYEWITNESS NEWS. >>
APPROPRIATION COMMITTEE MEMBERS POSTPONED THE RESOLUTION AT LAST NIGHT'S MEETING... AS THEY WAIT FOR SPECIFIC COST FIGURES TO COME IN.
COUNCILMAN DEFORE SAYS THEY HOPE TO PICK IT BACK UP IN A COUPLE WEEKS.

TODAY'S 13WMAZ DOT COM WEB POLL ASKS... DO YOU THINK LOG CABIN DRIVE IS SAFE FOR DRIVING?
SO FAR18 PERCENT OF YOU SAY YES... IT IS.
AND 82 PERCENT SAY NO... LOG CABIN'S NOT SAFE FOR DRIVING.
CAST YOUR VOTE... VISIT 13WMAZ DOT COM AND LOOK FOR THE WEB POLL ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE HOMEPAGE.

THE WARNER ROBINS ANIMAL SHELTER HELPED FIND HOMES FOR MORE THAN 250 DOGS AND CATS SO FAR THIS YEAR.
DIRECTOR... GREG LANGSTON... SAYS UNFORTUNATELY... THEY EUTHANIZED 310 ANIMALS.
HOWEVER... A NEW APPROACH MAY HELP BRING THE FIRST NUMBER UP... AND THE SECOND... DOWN.
<<nats (13:36) "I usually take 'em outside to take their pictures."
nats- getting out of cage.
Lisa Sabbath: "They really enjoy being outside and getting out of the cage for awhile."
ESPECIALLY THIS GUY.
nats (39:15) "Come here buddy"
LISA SABBATH SAYS HE'S BEEN BUNKING AT THE SHELTER FOR NEARLY TWO MONTHS.
34:25) "43:25) "He's looking for a home. He has very good manners."
HE MAY HAVE A BETTER CHANCE OF FINDING ONE... WITH THE HELP OF A NEW VOLUNTEER SHELTER BOARD.
nats- barking
SABBATH IS ONE OF SEVEN FOUNDING MEMBERS.
Lisa Sabbath: (4810) "We will measure success when our euthanasia rates go down, and our adoption rates exceed that."
nats- barkingp
THEY'LL FOCUS MOSTLY ON THE ADOPTION COMPONENT OF THE SHELTER...
(11:45) "We've made plans to have on-site adoptions once a month, different places around the city."
PLUS REMIND FOLKS WHEN THEY OPEN.
nats-
AND HOW TO GET HERE.
Lorra Lynch Jones: (2:26) "This small sign is one of the only ones letting potential pet owners know where to find the Warner Robins Animal Shelter. The board plans to add billboards along Highway 247 to direct people into its obscure location off Stalnaker Drive."
ANIMAL CONTROL DIRECTOR GREG LANGSTON SAYS THEY NEED THE BOARD TO DRIVE ADOPTIONS... WHILE HIS STAFF HANDLES ANIMAL CONTROL.
Greg Langston : (55:50) "Control of strays in Warner Robins from running loose and also enforcing city codes."
nats- taking picture
SABBATH WILL POST THIS SHOT ON PET FINDER-DOT-COM...
(48:20) "The ultimate joy is to see them get a home, see the happy family that adopts."
AND HOPEFULLY... SHE'LL SEE MORE... WITH A GROUP TO LEAD THE EFFORT.
>> THE WARNER ROBINS SHELTER BOARD WILL MEET ONCE A MONTH.
THE SHELTER IS OPEN MONDAY THROUGH FRIDAY NINE TO FIVE... AND EVERY THIRD SATURDAY FROM TEN UNTIL TWO.
ADOPTIONS COST 20-DOLLARS.

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.

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