Man convicted in murder of Mercer Law student contents sentence

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The man convicted of killing a Mercer Law student has filed a Writ of Habeas Corpus. That means he wants a judge to decide if he's being held lawfully or not.

Stephen McDaniel's father held a news conference Wednesday morning in Gwinnett County. McDaniel is currently serving a life sentence for the brutal 2011 murder of Laura Giddings.

Prosecutors said he admitted to breaking into Giddings apartment, attacking her, and then dismembering her with a hacksaw. Authorities found her body parts in a nearby dumpster.

McDaniel's father, Mark, believes the state violated his son's rights and he's requesting a judge to review his life sentence. He's started a petition in hopes of getting another trial.

But prosecutors stand by the court proceedings leading to that sentence.

“After receiving the research and internal emails, Mr. McDaniel's attorney's felt this these intercepts had no effect on the case what so ever. And because of that, chose not to seek any remedy in court,” David Cooke, Macon District Attorney.

When asked if the petition meant his son was innocent, Mark McDaniel responded saying the Habeas Corpus has nothing to do with his innocence, but with the mistreatment of his son that prevented a fair trial.