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Lawyers say Ga. murder suspect should get bond

Stephen McDaniel

Stephen McDaniel

MACON, Ga. (AP) — Lawyers for the Macon law student accused in the killing and dismemberment of Lauren Giddings say he is entitled to a bond because a grand jury didn't indict him within 90 days of his arrest.

Stephen McDaniel's attorneys say in a new court motion their client should be granted a bond on the murder charge due to the time lapse. They say the district attorney didn't indict McDaniel within the required timeframe after his Aug. 2 arrest, nor did they request an extension.

McDaniel is originally from Lilburn.

One of McDaniel's lawyers, Franklin Hogue, said he expects there will be "great efforts made to prevent the granting and posting of bond and release." Prosecutors will "scurry to do everything they can" to keep McDaniel behind bars, Hogue told the Telegraph of Macon, which reported the developments Friday.

District Attorney Greg Winters declined to comment.

Fred Bright, district attorney for the Ocmulgee Judicial Circuit, said that since the 1980s never has a defendant been granted bond in the more than two dozen death penalty cases he has helped prosecute. Even in noncapital murder cases, bond "is rare," Bright said.

McDaniel is accused of killing Giddings, a 27-year-old Mercer University law school graduate from Laurel, Md. Police discovered her torso wrapped in plastic in a garbage bin. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.