MACON, Ga. -- Update | The judge in the Stephen McDaniel case ended the bond hearing today by saying he wanted to think about both sides arguments and that he would rule on it at a later time.
The Prosecution asked for a bond set at $2.4M and the Defense asked for a $100k bond.
The ruling will most likely be handed down via fax later this afternoon to both parties.
Earlier -- Stephen McDaniel, the man accused of killing Agnes Scott and Mercer Law graduate Lauren Giddings, heads back to court Tuesday afternoon. McDaniel has an arraignment and a bond hearing before Superior Court Judge Phillip Brown.
Frank Hogue, a co-attorney for McDaniel, says McDaniel will enter a plea of not guilty and that will start the murder case of Lauren Giddings.
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Hogue says the arraignment should be quick. What will take the bulk of the afternoon is McDaniel's bond hearing.
He says typically, the District Attorney would present an indictment within 90 days and a judge would deny bond in a death penalty case. But in this case, Hogue says the DA's office waited 115 days to present the indictment. He says McDaniel is therefore entitled to bond.
"If you can get a client out of jail on bond, you can take your time a little bit more," Hogue said. "He's not being punished now. He's not suffering jail when he's presumed to be innocent. And the practical side is it's a lot easier to work with a client on preparing his case when he's out of jail."
Hogue and his co-counsel, Floyd Buford will present their evidence first in the bond hearing. They have to prove McDaniel is not a significant risk to others and their property, that he won't intimidate witnesses or obstruct justice, and that he is not at risk of committing a felony. Hogue says they will present McDaniel's clean record as proof of those points. They also have to prove he won't run away and avoid court. Hogue says they'll focus on his ties to the community to make that point.
"He's lived in Macon for the past seven years, four years at Mercer University undergrad and three years in law school," he said. "Then we're gonna show evidence of his ties to his home in Lilburn, Georgia. We'll have some photographs, some affidavits and other evidence about that."
The judge could set a bond too high for the McDaniels to afford. Hogue says he doesn't think that will happen, but bond could come with strings attached.
"The judge can add any conditions he wants," said Hogue. "He can make him stay in Macon. He can make him stay in Lilburn, and only come to Macon to meet with his attorneys for example. He could make him wear an electronic monitor around his ankle."
Even if Judge Brown does set bond Tuesday, McDaniel would remain in jail until bond is also set for his other charges of child sexual exploitation.