Thursday, August 4, 2011

Suspect arrested in dismemberment of Law School neighbor

Lauren-Giddings - law school murder victimA classmate of a Mercer University law school graduate has been charged with killing her. Prior to the slaying and dismemberment of 27-year-old Lauren Giddings, Stephen Mark McDaniel had said he could commit murder and avoid getting caught, according to the arrest warrant charging him with murder.
Police in Georgia have charged McDaniel's, 25, with the murder of fellow graduate Lauren.
Her dismembered body was discovered in a trash bin outside an apartment building where they both lived.
Stephen McDanielMcDaniel had made comments that he could kill a person, but he also provided details about how he could “avoid detection.” The comments were “similar to the facts and circumstances surrounding” her killing. The warrant does not say to whom he allegedly made the statements or when.
Both recent graduates, they lived next door to each other in an apartment building across the street from the school, police said.
Police found Lauren's torso in the apartment building trash bin on June 30. 
McDaniel, who was described as a quiet student, told reporters that day that he helped Giddings' friends search for her.

She was "as nice a person as could be; she was personable; she was always nice to talk to," he said. "I don't know why anyone would do this."

That same day, McDaniel was charged with burglary for allegedly walking into two apartments in the building where he lived and stealing condoms, Gaudet said.

McDaniel had a master key that would open all the units in the building, the police spokeswoman said.
He had been held for a month in the Bibb County jail on the burgularly charges.
Lauren, of Laurel, Md., was last heard from on the evening of June 25 and had recently celebrated her sister's wedding.
Five days later, police discovered her torso wrapped in plastic in a garbage bin beside her apartment building.

Police-sealed the apartment doors of Mercer University law school graduates Ms Giddings and Mr McDaniels. Ms Giddings, 27, went missing in June

Gaudet said McDaniel had a collection of swords, but police have not linked the swords to Giddings' death.
"That was a recreational thing for him," she said.
"We've never made a connection between the two."

As a law student, McDaniel worked briefly for the Bibb County District Attorney's Office, Gaudet said.

District Attorney Greg Winters says Mr McDaniel, of Lilburn, is charged with murder.

McDaniel's attorney could not immediately be reached by telephone for comment.

A Stanley brand hacksaw was recovered in a locked storage closet at the Barristers Hall apartment complex. Lauren's DNA was also found on the saw.

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