On May 30, McDaniel filed a petition for habeas corpus
MACON, Ga. (41NBC/WMGT) – The man convicted of murdering a Mercer law student Lauren Giddings in 2011 asked the justice system to overturn his conviction and guilty plea and release him from prison. Stephen McDaniel is serving a life sentence after pleading guilty to murder of Giddings.
On May 30, he filed a habeas corpus petition in the United States District Court for the Central District of Georgia. The appeal alleges that former district attorney Greg Winters and his prosecution team illegally received forms that were an essential part of the defense. McDaniel says a Bibb County Sheriff’s Office deputy “removed the petitioner’s legal information request forms from the mail without legal authority, copied them, and emailed them to DA Winters, who s was in charge of the pursuit”.
In the filing, McDaniel says that in January 2013, newly elected district attorney David Cooke took office and briefed defense attorneys about the theft of defense information. The filing goes on to say “the court was not notified and no remedial action was taken.”
McDaniel even claims that a question from the prosecution was “taken almost verbatim from the stolen defense trial preps.” He also claims that his defense attorneys “had paperwork to prove that the state’s strategy came from stolen Core Opinion Legal Research.”
McDaniel says in his motion that he was not made aware of the theft of the defense’s trial preparations when he pleaded guilty in April 2014. Therefore, he claims that the conviction and sentence should be invalid due to his attorney’s faulty advice and his attorney’s ineffective assistance.
This isn’t the first time McDaniel has gone to court. In February 2018, he filed for Habeas Corpus, ask for a new trial.