McDaniel Pleads Not Guilty to Child Exploitation

5:35 PM, Dec 12, 2011   |    comments
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Video: Stephen McDaniel pleads not guilty to child-exploitation

Stephen McDaniel at a hearing Dec. 12 on child-exploitation charges
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  • MORE COVERAGE: The Lauren Giddings Case
  • Stephen McDaniel, the man accused of murdering Lauren Giddings, pleaded not guilty Monday on child-exploitation charges. These charges stem from digital images of child pornography that investigators say they found in McDaniel's apartment.

    SLIDESHOW: Stephen McDaniel December 12 Arraignment

    The Superior Court's chief circuit judge, Martha Christian, presided at a hearing that started and ended within minutes at the Bibb County Courthouse. 

    With McDaniel, his attorney Floyd Buford, and prosecutors huddled at the judge's bench, Buford offered to waive a formal arraignment and reading of the indictment and enter a plea of not guilty. McDaniel signed a plea document but did not speak publicly.

    McDaniel was indicted in November on one count of murder and 30 counts of child exploitation.  District Attorney Greg Winters has said he will seek the death penalty in the murder case. Winters and assistant district attorney Nancy Scott Malcor represented the prosecution at Monday's hearing.

    Our reporters say McDaniel appeared somewhat more engaged than in his previous court appearance. He was calm, and interacted with his attorney. He was less gaunt but still much thinner than when he was arrested July 1.

    McDaniel was brought to the courtroom in handcuffs and leg chains from the Bibb County Law Enforcement Center.

    McDaniel is charged with murdering his neighbor Lauren Giddings in June. Both attended Mercer Law School and lived in an intown Macon apartment complex reserved for law students.

    FULL COVERAGE: The Lauren Giddings Case

    Winters says the murder arraignment will be held at a later date, because there are different procedures for death-penalty cases.

    Check back with 13WMAZ for updates. 

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