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Murder Suspect McDaniel to Contest Grand Jury Makeup

Stephen McDaniel, a Lilburn native, was formally told Wednesday that the state would seek the death penalty.

Lilburn native Stephen McDaniel appeared in a Macon courtroom today to be formally informed that the state will seek the death penalty if McDaniel is found guilty of murdering a fellow law student, the Macon Telegraph reported.

McDaniel, who is accused in the June 2011 death of Lauren Giddings, will be arraigned Feb. 7, the paper reported.

Floyd Buford, who represents McDaniel, indicated that he and co-counsel Franklin D. Hogue plan to contest a number of issues, including search-and-seizure, consent search and arrest matters. There "is also gonna be an issue about an arrest warrant that was issued in the case,” Buford is reported as saying.

Hogue said his client also intended to challenge the makeup of the grand jury that indicted him, according to the report.

McDaniel, a Parkview graduate, was indicted in November in the slaying of Giddings, a fellow graduate of the Mercer University law school who was his next-door neighbor.

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