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McDaniel wants more evidence thrown out of murder trial | News

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McDaniel wants more evidence thrown out of murder trial

Lawyers for Stephen McDaniel want Superior Court Judge Howard Simms to throw out more evidence in the 2011 murder case, including statements McDaniel made to police and hairs found in a refrigerator.

McDaniel is accused of killing and dismembering his Mercer Law classmate and neighbor Lauren Giddings in June 2011.

The defense filed three motions this week, adding to the over 50 filed throughout the past two years.

One of them claims statements McDaniel made to investigators about being a virgin should not be brought up during the trial. During the first day of the investigation after Giddings' torso was found in a trash bin outside her Macon apartment, McDaniel told investigators he chose to remain a virgin because of his religious beliefs.

Defense lawyer Franklin Hogue says he believes prosecutors will try to make the connection that McDaniel murdered Giddings because "of some sort of twisted sexual desire for her." He also says he anticipates they will use an FBI behavioral analyst to support this.

In the motion, Hogue says introducing the statements as evidence are likely to result in unfair prejudice by the jury. He says he plans to file another motion this week, questioning the use of the rest of the behavioral analyst's report.

Another motion says investigators found two hairs inside the refrigerator of the vacant apartment below Giddings'. Hogue says he has not yet received any reports from forensic tests on the two hairs. He says, with about a month until the trial, receiving any reports now would put the defense at a disadvantage. He says they would not have enough time to hire their own forensic experts to review the conclusions.

Hogue says introducing evidence of the hairs without testing would also be unfair to McDaniel, because that would require jurors to speculate whether they believe the hairs could have come from Giddings or McDaniel.

The defense filed another motion asking Judge Simms to dismiss all evidence found on McDaniel's computer and digital storage devices found in his apartment.

Hogue says a report from a GBI computer analyst in August 2011 says nothing was found on the computer or devices that showed any evidence that McDaniel killed Giddings. However, lawyers received McDaniel's hard drive last Friday, Dec. 27, and Hogue says a quick look at its contents reveal "a number of potentially incriminating matters, assuming they can be authenticated as having come from McDaniel's 'Internet protocol' address and were created by him."

In the motion, Hogue also says there could also be evidence on the devices that show McDaniel was using his computer during the time investigators say the murder happened, and therefore could help prove his innocence.

Hogue says the problem is McDaniel's hard drive contains a large amount of data that could not be thoroughly reviewed and tested before the trial February 3rd. He says the GBI has had this evidence for about two years and seven months, and he believes it is unfair that the hard drive was just given to lawyers now.

These motions will be discussed during a scheduled hearing January 6th. They're also expected to discuss an internet post allegedly written by McDaniel. Bibb District Attorney David Cooke says the post describes a murder by cutting a victim's throat with a knife. Cooke says he plans to bring in FBI and GBI computer analysts to prove the post was written by McDaniel.


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