Giddings Parents File Wrongful-Death Suit

6:07 PM, Jun 18, 2013   |    comments
Lauren Giddings
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The parents of Lauren Giddings filed a wrongful death lawsuit against her accused killer Stephen McDaniel.

Among other things in the federal suit, William and Karen Giddings say McDaniel deprived them of giving their daughter a proper burial by dismembering her body.

They also claim in the suit that McDaniel may have gotten rid of her arms, legs and head on a 63-acre plot of woods in Pike County owned by McDaniel's late grandfather.

McDaniel faces murder charges in the June 2011 killing and dismemberment of Lauren Giddings, a fellow Mercer University law school graduate who lived in an apartment adjacent to McDaniel across from the law school.

He also faces 30 counts of child pornography charges.

The suit, filed by Atlanta attorney Kristin Miller with King & Spalding LLP, alleges that McDaniel begin plotting the perfect murder in the fall of 2007.

"...McDaniel told his college roomate how he would go about the perfect murder. McDaniel said that after he killed someone, he would dismember them and then scatter the parts through the woods so that no one would ever find them. McDaniel bragged to his roommate that he would never get caught."

About a week before the murder, the suit alleges McDaniel visited the Pike County property owned by his grandfather.

"...McDaniel surveyed the property for locations where he could scatter dismembered body parts through the woods in accordance with his murder plan," the suit says.

Miller said Tuesday finding the body parts is a primary reason for the suit.

"I think that would give the family a lot of closure to have all of Lauren's parts properly buried," Miller said. "Yes, that is one of the goals that we are pursing here."

Another reason would be to make sure McDaniel doesn't get any money from the alleged crime.

"The purpose of the suit is two-fold," Miller said. "One is an additional avenue for discovery and the other is to make sure that he never profits from his crime by writing anything, blogging anything, whatever, and if he ever gets a cent, every cent ought to go to the Giddings for the horrible horrible crime he committed." 

In addition to asking that McDaniel pay all costs associated with the court proceedings, the suit also asks for a jury trial and compensatory and punitive damages to the maximum that Georgia law allows.

"A conservative estimate of her life practicing attorney would be $100,000 a year for the next 30 years and then the non-economic value of a life I would say is upwards of $10 million," Miller said.

McDaniel has been lodged in the Bibb County jail for almost two years. So far, neither McDaniel nor his family have been able to post the current $850,000 bond.

Prosecutors hope to try the case next year.




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