Police Are Not Questioning McDaniel in Giddings Case, Defense Lawyer Says

6:01 PM, Jul 8, 2011   |    comments
  • Stephen McDaniel in 2011
  • Lauren Giddings
    
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The lawyer for Lauren Giddings' next-door neighbor Stephen McDaniel says police have not asked to interview his client since he began representing McDaniel a week ago. Macon police have publicly identified McDaniel as a "person of interest" in Giddings' killing.

The lawyer, Floyd Buford of Macon, said Friday he has advised his client not to make any further statements and does not plan to allow police to interview McDaniel, who was arrested on burglary charges unrelated to the Giddings case.

Buford has requested bond for McDaniel. A bond hearing is scheduled for Friday, July 14.

 

Chief Mike Burns said Friday morning police have been "unable" to speak with McDaniel. But police later issued a statement from Maj. Charles Stone, the criminal investigations head, who said: "We haven't tried to speak with him. He's charged with two burglaries. He's not a murder suspect. We have no reason to speak to him."  

 

Buford said McDaniel's family hired him on July 1 after McDaniel was arrested. The burglary charges arose after police initially questioned him about the Giddings case. But they have not questioned him in the week since Buford took up his defense.

Police charged McDaniel with burglarizing two apartments more than a year ago at the Barristers Hall complex on Georgia Avenue where he and Giddings lived  -- but not Giddings' apartment.  

 

The bond hearing would be held at the Bibb County Law Enforcement Center and presided over by Judge Tripp Self, according to Sandra Mason, a clerk to Superior Court Judge Martha Christian.

Buford filed the request for bond earlier this week. During McDaniel's first court appearance, a magistrate judge revoked $8,450 bond for McDaniel on a burglary charge after he was charged with a second burglary.

Police say he's accused of stealing "personal items" from neighbors. Police described the items as having little value, but would not say what specifically McDaniel is accused of stealing.

Investigators have been seen searching McDaniel's apartment with K-9 teams since June 30, the day Giddings' torso was found outside the apartment building. Police have placed a "Do Not Enter" sign on McDaniel's door.

McDaniel has said he attended Mercer Law School with Giddings. He worked in the Bibb County District Attorney's Office as an intern, according to District Attorney Greg Winters. Winters has said McDaniel may face more charges, but as of Friday, none had been filed.

The day police discovered Giddings' body, McDaniel told 13WMAZ that he entered Giddings' apartment with friends much earlier that morning when they became concerned about her disappearance. He said they looked at some of her belongings, including emails on her computer that he said stated she was afraid in her apartment because someone tried to break in.

Police have confirmed they are looking at Giddings' computer and emails, but have not said what they've found. Her family said Giddings did not make any cell phone calls or send any email after 10:30 on the night of June 25.

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