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Plea deal almost crumbled in Ga. law grad slaying

Monday - 4/28/2014, 9:58am  ET

MACON, Ga. (AP) -- The defense attorney for a Georgia man who pleaded guilty to killing and dismembering a law school classmate in Macon says the plea deal almost fell apart.

Stephen McDaniel would have stood trial beginning Monday in the June 2011 slaying of 27-year-old Lauren Giddings had the suspect not pleaded guilty to malice murder charges a week ago. The Telegraph newspaper reports (http://bit.ly/1fkQt1D ) McDaniel held out until the last minute.

His defense attorney, Floyd Buford, says McDaniel's willingness to plead guilty was "more iffy than most" because he wanted Giddings' parents in Laurel, Md., to drop a wrongful death lawsuit against him. They ended up agreeing to a consent judgment finding McDaniel liable in Giddings' death.

Giddings' sister, Kaitlyn Wheeler, says McDaniel "took advantage of us in our most vulnerable state."

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Information from: The Macon Telegraph, http://www.macontelegraph.com


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