Wednesday, April 11, Eyewitness News at 11

10:39 PM, Apr 11, 2012   |    comments
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<<opening for eyewitness news at eleven>>

GOOD EVENING AND THANKS FOR JOINING US..
I'M LEAH JOHNSON..
FRANK MALLOY HAS THE NIGHT OFF.



WE SPOKE TO FORMER HOUSTON COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY KELLY BURKE ABOUT WHAT'S NEXT FOR ZIMMERMAN.... NOW THAT HE FACES A MURDER CHARGE.

"Well now they'll do the normal and that is they'll hear his side of the story with the advisement of his attorney if he wishes to do that. They have a chance to start exploring evidence in a more open situation, they don't have to keep everything so concealled and they'll have a better chance getting from those witnessess, their testimony about what happened and what they saw that night. I think the case will move actually a lot better now that he's charged. Ultimately it may be to Mr. Zimmerman's benefit but surely it will move now instead of the big firestorm being why hasn't he be charged, now the focus will be is he guilty or not of this offense."

SECOND-DEGREE MURDER IS TYPICALY CHARGED WHEN THERE IS A FIGHT OR CONFRONTATION RESULTING IN DEATH.. AND WHERE THERE IS NO PREMEDITATED PLAN TO KILL SOMEONE.
THE CHARGE CARRIES A MAXIMUM SENTENCE OF LIFE IN PRISON.

BIBB COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT JUDGE PHILLIP BROWN GRANTED A 850-THOUSAND DOLLAR BOND FOR STEPHEN MCDANIEL... BUT IT'S LIKELY THE ACCUSED MURDER WILL STAY IN JAIL FOR NOW.
MCDANIEL'S ACCUSED OF KILLING HIS NEIGHBOR AND FELLOW MERCER LAW SCHOOL GRADUATE... LAUREN GIDDINGS.
IF HE DOES POST BOND... HE'LL FACE SOME STRICT CONDITIONS.

FIRST... MCDANIEL MUST WEAR AN ANKLE MONITOR AT ALL TIMES.

SECOND.. HE MUST STAY AT HIS PARENTS' HOME IN LILBURN... UNLESS HE'S TRAVELING TO COURT OR MEETING WITH HIS LAWYERS.

THIRD.. HE CANNOT BE ALONE WITH MINOR CHILDREN "UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES."

FOURTH.. MCDANEIL CANNOT USE OR POSSESS ANY ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATION DEVICE.. THAT INCLUDES COMPUTERS AND CELL PHONES.. EXCEPT TO CONTACT HIS PARENTS OR LAWYERS.

AND LASTLY.. HE CANNOT USE OR POSSESS ANY WEAPONS.

IN THE BOND ORDER.. JUDGE BROWN ALSO QUESTIONED IF THERE IS ANY WAY TO ENSURE.. MCDANIEL IS NOT ALONE WITH CHILDREN AND DOES NOT HAVE ACCESS TO CELL PHONES OR COMPUTERS.
JUDGE BROWN REQUIRES MCDANIEL'S ATTORNEYS TO SUBMIT A MONITORING PLAN FOR APPROVAL BEFORE HE CAN RELEASE HIM.


ONE OF MCDANIEL'S ATTORNEYS FRANK HOGUE SAYS IT WOULD BE ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE FOR THE MCDANIELS TO AFFORD THAT BAIL... SO THEY PLAN TO TO FILE A MOTION ASKING THE JUDGE TO RECONSIDER THE AMOUNT.... AND FOR ANOTHER HEARING.
HOGUE SAYS THEY ALSO PLAN TO PRESENT EVIDENCE.. THAT WILL SHOW HE'S NOT A DANGER TO HIS SIBLINGS.

"I didn't anticipate that, I had no reason to think anyone would think he was a danger to them. I'm confident we will be able to produce that evidence because they've been his siblings since... the oldest one is 11, and there's no evidence he ever harmed them, mistreated them, did anything to expose them to danger."

HOUGE SAYS THEY WILL WORK TO FILE MOTIONS BY FRIDAY.
HE SAID AFTER THIS BOND CASE IS SETTLED... THEY WILL TACKLE MCDANIELS OTHER CHARGES... WHICH INCLUDE 30 COUNTS OF CHILD SEX EXPLOITATION....FOR ALLEGEDLY POSSESSING PORNOGRAPHY.
BIBB COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY GREG WINTERS SAYS.. HE IS NOT CONCERNED ABOUT MCDANIEL MAKING BAIL AND MEETING THE CONDITIONS OF THE BOND BECAUSE HE STILL FACES THOSE CHILD ENDANGERMENT AND BURGLARY CHARGES.
MCDANIEL'S LAWYERS HAVE NOT YET ASKED FOR BOND ON THOSE COUNTS.


WE SPOKE WITH LAUREN GIDDINGS' MOTHER BY PHONE TODAY AFTER THE JUDGE MADE HIS DECISION.
KAREN GIDDINGS TOLD 13WMAZ SHE'S NOT CONCERNED ABOUT MCDANIEL GETTING OUT OF JAIL BECAUSE OF THE OTHER PENDING CHARGES AGAINST HIM.
SHE SAYS SHE'S SATISFIED THAT D-A WINTERS' OFFICE IS DOING EVERYTHING THEY CAN TO PROSECUTE THE CASE.

THE WARNER ROBINS POLICE DEPARTMENT WANTS TO CONNECT BETTER WITH THE COMMUNITY USING SOCIAL MEDIA.
THEY LAUNCHED A TWITTER ACCOUNT AND A BLOG TODAY.
LORRA LYNCH SHOWS YOU WHERE TO FIND IT AND HOW POLICE INTEND TO USE IT.
<<nats- typing
Lorra Lynch Jones: "The Warner Robins police made it easy to figure how to connect with them. Go to their website... W-R police-dot-org. See the toll bar at the center of the home page? These squares link you their new blog and twitter feed."
Tabitha: (43:25) "That can be directly linked from our website or you can use our key word @WarnerRobinsPD."
POLICE SPOKESWOMAN TABITHA PUGH SAYS RECEIVING THEIR INFORMATION... COULD SAVE YOU TIME.
quick nats- traffic
WITH TWEETS ABOUT MAJOR ACCIDENTS...
nats- radi
AND IF YOU'RE NOT A SCANNER LISTENER.. (nats)
IT WILL TELL YOU ABOUT CRIMES IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD.
Tabitha Pugh: (4:40) "Anytime there's a serious crime incident, if there's a gunman around a school or a huge crime scene or a gunman on the loose. This is just another way to get that information out as quickly and accurately as possible."
Lorra Lynch Jones: "The new blog feature on the website serves a different purpose. Here you'll find regular postings about what goes on behind the scenes at the police department. For example, here's a post about a canine that helped catch an armed robbery suspect."
Tabitha: (39:29) "Kind of let the department be a bit more personable, as far as community involvement."
PUGH SAYS THE BLOG WILL ALSO HELP RECRUIT POTENTIAL NEW HIRES.
Tabitha: (20:50) "We're going to do a day in the life of a recruit, so people can actually see what goes on in the recruiting process, and not just a bunch of words on a PDF file off the website."
SHE CALLS SOCIAL MEDIA A TOOL THAT'S BECOMING AN INTEGRAL PART OF POLICING.
nats-
STD
>>


PUGH SAYS SHE'S INCORPORATED IDEAS USED BY OTHER POLICE DEPARTMENTS AROUND THE COUNTRY THAT HAVE BEEN SUCCESSFUL USING SOCIAL MEDIA.
FOR MORE INFORMATION... LOOK FOR THE LINK INSIDE THIS STORY ON OUR HOMEPAGE.

LOW HUMIDITY... HIGH WINDS... AND NO RAIN MEAN CONDITIONS ARE RIGHT FOR WILDFIRES IN GEORGIA..

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE ISSUED A RED FLAG WARNING THAT WILL LAST UNTIL THURSDAY.
HOWELL CRUTCHFIELD... THE STATE FORESTRY COMMISSION'S CHIEF RANGER IN JASPER AND JONES COUNTY SAYS.... THEY'VE DEALT WITH SEVEN WILDFIRES SO FAR THIS MONTH..

debris burning is a main cause of wildfire. people burning brush piles int he yard and let it get out. they're not watching it close enough andit gets out and it keeps buiding and building and it takes off

CRUTCHFIELD SAYS YOU MUST HAVE A BURN PERMIT IF YOU WANT TO START AN OUTDOOR FIRE.


ben gives three day forecast

THANKS BEN.. WE'LL TALK WITH YOU AGAIN IN JUST A FEW MINUTES.

STILL AHEAD... AUTHORITIES IN CENTRAL GEORIGA ARRESTED EIGHT PEOPLE TODAY ON DRUG-RELATED CHARGES.
WE'LL HAVE THE DETAILS..

PLUS... JUST DAYS AHEAD OF PROM NIGHT.. STUDENTS AT JONES COUNTY HIGH SCHOOL GOT A BIT OF A SHOCK... ALL WHILE LEARNING AN IMPORTNAT LESSON.
WE'LL EXPLAIN AFTER THE BREAK.

FOUR CENTRAL GEORGIA LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES WORKED TOGETHER TO ARREST EIGHT PEOPLE ON DRUG CHARGES.
A PRESS RELEASE FROM THE WARNER ROBINS POLICE DEPARTMENT SAYS THEY SERVED DRUG WARRANTS IN MACON... WARNER ROBINS.. KATHELEEN.. AND BONAIRE.
THE RELEASE SAYS OFFICERS AND DEPUTIES SEIZED CASH.. MARIJUANA.. SEVERAL CARS.. AND GUNS.
ALL EIGHT PEOPLE ARRESTED FACE CHARGES OF CONSPIRACY OR ATTEMPT TO VIOLATE THE GEORGIA CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE LAW.
FOR NAMES AND PICTURES OF ALL THOSE ARRESTED... LOOK FOR THIS STORY AT 13 WMAZ DOT COM.

MACON MAYOR ROBERT REICHERT CHEERED ON CITY CREWS AS THEY TORE DOWN ABANDONED BUILDINGS THIS MORNING.

THE HOMES WERE PART OF AN ABANDONED APARTMENT COMPLEX A FEW BLOCKS FROM MERCER UNIVERSITY DRIVE AND PIO NONO AVENUE.
THE BUILDINGS WERE IDENTIFIED THROUGH THE CITY'S CLEAN UP PROGRAM THAT TARGETS A 5 BLOCK AREA IN 5 WEEKS.
REICHERT SAYS THE DEMOLITION IS AN IMPORTANT FIRST STEP TO REVITALIZING THE NEIGHBORHOOD.

Mayor Robert Reichert, "We're paying attention to every area of the city, trying to revitalize neighborhoods, restore hope, and wholeness to neighborhoods and make them decent places to live, work and play."

MAYOR REICHERT PLANS TO DEMOLISH ONE HUNDRED CONDEMNED BUILDINGS EACH YEAR.... BECAUSE THEY ATTRACT CRIME AND SQUATTERS... AND CAUSE OTHER HEALTH AND SAFETY PROBLEMS.
SINCE JANUARY..... HE SAYS HE'S DESTROYED TWENTY SEVEN BLIGHTED PROPERTIES.

SHOPPING FOR DRESSES AND TUXEDOS MAY BE ON THE AGENDA FOR MANY HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS THIS PROM SEASON.
BUT FOR STUDENTS AT JONES COUNTY HIGH SCHOOL... A PROGRAM HELPED OPENED THEIR EYES BEFORE THE BIG NIGHT OUT.

THE SCHOOL HELD ITS ANNUAL SHOCK TRAUMA PROGRAM TODAY.
THE SENIOR CLASS LINED UP ALONG THE TRACK FIELD TO WITNESS A SIMULATION OF A PROM NIGHT GONE WRONG DUE TO A DRUNK DRIVER.
THE PROGRAM REMINDS STUDENTS THAT THEY CAN HAVE A FUN FILLED NIGHT... WITHOUT ALCOHOL.

Chief William Wright, Jones County Fire Dept: "There hasn't been a fatality from drinking and driving, especially during prom week...in a few years and as I say...our goal is, if we just save one life then this program is well worth it over the last ten years."

THE JONES COUNTY HIGH SCHOOL PROM IS THIS SATURDAY.
CHIEF WRIGHT SAYS THIS IS THE FIFTH YEAR FOR THE PROGRAM AND IT CONTINUES TO BE A SUCCESS.







TONIGHT'S FACEBOOK FAN OF THE DAY IS SARAH LUCIUS.
SARAH... YOU'LL NEED TO EMAIL FAN OF THE DAY AT 13WMAZ DOT COM TO CLAIM YOUR COFFEE MUG.

NOW... GETTING INTO THE RUNNING FOR FAN OF THE DAY IS AN EASY THREE-STEP PROCESS.
ONE... VISIT FACEBOOK DOT COM SLASH 13WMAZ.
TWO... BECOME A FAN... AND THREE... GET IN ON THE CONVERSATIONS.
WE PICK OUR FAN OF THE DAY RANDOMLY.

CHIEF METEOROLOGIST BEN JONES JOINS US WITH WEATHER..


THE BRAVES HAD ONE FINAL ROAD GAME BEFORE THEY HEAD HOME THIS WEEKEND.
SUZANNE LAWLERS IN NEXT WITH SPORTS TO LET YOU KNOW HOW THEY DID AGAINST THE ASTROS... PLUS.

You have to stay in your lane for the entire lap.

RUNNERS GOT LAST MINUTE INSTRUCTIONS AT A BIG GISA TRACK AND FIELD MEET TODAY.
FIND OUT WHY THIS IS A TUNE UP FOR NEXT WEEKS REGIONALS.


AND ONE LAST QUICK LOOK AT TOMORROW'S FORECAST WITH CHIEF METEOROLOGIST BEN JONES.



THANKS FOR JOINING US.... FIRST MORNIN COMES YOUR WAY AT 5 A-M.

THE NEWS IS ALWAYS ON AT 13WMAZ DOT COM.

LETTERMAN'S NEXT.

HAVE A SAFE NIGHT EVERYONE.

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