The recent murder of 27-year-old Mercer University graduate Lauren Giddings and the allegations in a wrongful death lawsuit filed by her parents against Stephen McDaniel have shaken up residents in the area. And rightfully so as more details of the brutal murder become known.
Allegations Of A Brutal Murder & A Family’s Quest For Justice
The murder of Lauren Giddings was allegedly very brutal. Stephen McDaniel, who also attended Macon’s Mercer University and is 27 years old, has been charged with the young woman’s murder and Giddings’s parents filed a wrongful death lawsuit against him seeking $5 million in damages and permission from a judge to search McDaniel’s maternal grandfather’s Pike County farm for their daughter’s remains.
According to The Telegraph, the wrongful death complaint alleges that McDaniel killed Giddings and described to a college roommate how he would commit the “perfect murder” including the use of chloroform.
He also allegedly told the roommate that the way in which he would commit the murder would involve dismembering the body and scattering the parts throughout a wooded area – and that he bragged about how he would never get caught.
Shockingly, the Giddings’s complaint also alleges that McDaniel:
- purchased a hacksaw and ingredients to make chloroform
- used a refrigerator in an empty apartment to store her torso – where her parents allege that their daughter’s blood stains were found in the refrigerator
- shopped for boat anchors that could have possibly been used to submerge the body
- visited his grandfather’s farm, about an hour west of Macon, to survey an area to scatter dismembered body parts
- stole a master key to the apartment complex and had a duplicate key to Giddings’ apartment
- took steps to conceal evidence, such as painting over blood stains on the walls of Giddings’ apartment
McDaniel denies involvement in the Giddings slaying. He is currently being held at the Bibb County Jail on $850,000 bond as the trial gets underway. Ironically, McDaniel has also been charged with 30 counts of sexual exploitation of children and two counts of burglary. He is scheduled for a criminal trial in Bibb County Superior Court in 2014.
Wrongful Death Lawsuits Require Experienced Counsel
Wrongful death occurs when someone dies as a result of someone else’s actions or negligence. Although the situation in the McDaniel trial is certainly not typical, any type of wrongful death lawsuit requires experienced counsel, including wrongful deaths that result from:
- violent crimes
- car accidents
- commercial truck accidents
- motorcycle accidents
- medical malpractice
- structural accidents
Survivors may file a wrongful death suit against the negligent party to seek damages for their losses including compensation for medical expenses, burial expenses and lost income and benefits. In some cases, survivors can also receive compensation for mental pain and suffering.
The bottom line is that people who lose a loved one on whom they depended upon financially and emotionally deserve to be compensated for their losses. Hiring an experienced and aggressive wrongful death lawyer can increase your chances of prevailing on your claim.