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Mercer University School of Law Grad Pleads Guilty to Murdering Fellow Law Student
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Stephen Mark McDaniel, 28, pleaded guilty on Monday to killing and dismembering a classmate from the Mercer University School of Law in Macon, Georgia. McDaniel is a graduate of the school and he disposed of the remains of Lauren Giddings in a dumpster outside an apartment building where the two lived, according to Reuters.

McDaniel faces life in prison for killing Giddings, 27, in the June 2011 crime. This was the same year the two graduated from the law school. McDaniel released a statement in Macon-Bibb County court Monday, just one week prior to the start of his trial. He said that he went into the woman’s apartment wearing a mask early in the morning of the day he killed Giddings.

  
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McDaniel said that he choked Giddings until she died and came back later that day to dismember her body using a hacksaw.

“It is difficult for me to explain why I killed Lauren,” McDaniel said in his statement. “It lies in my own inability to understand it myself.”

McDaniel was originally charged with breaking into two apartments in the complex using a master key he obtained. The two lived in apartments that neighbored each other across the street from where they went to law school.

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Prosecutors did not ask for the death penalty at the request of Giddings’ family. McDaniel will not be eligible for parole until 2041.

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