Former officials on Giddings’ case: ‘As far as the guilty part…that was expected’

MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Former Bibb County District Attorney Greg Winters, and the former Macon Police Chief Mike Burns say McDaniel is better off spending his life in prison after pleading guilty to the murder of Lauren Giddings.

Burns and Winters believe they had a good handle on the case back in 2011, on day the warrant went out for McDaniel’s arrest.

Winters says it was only a matter of time before McDaniel would admit to killing Giddings.

“When we were discussing the case, and the night that we decided that we had enough to go for a warrant for an arrest for murder,” Burns says, “I knew then we had it. I knew then he should never get out.”

Burns and Winters, along with their investigation team were faced with a tough task in 2011, which was to find out who murdered Laurens Giddings.

“We knew he was guilty from the start. We kept piling evidence on top of evidence,” says Burns.

The evidence the team had collected led to a guilty plea today from McDaniels almost three years later.

“As far as the guilty part… that was expected. It’s almost like he tried to play a cat and mouse game with us during the whole investigation,” says Burns.

“It was an act that should have never happened. Lauren should be with us today, but because of Mr. McDaniel’s selfish attitude…because of his selfish desires…she is not,” says Winters.

The former district attorney and police chief say the toughest moment during the entire case was speaking with Giddings’ father, and telling him that he would never see his daughter again.

“When Mike and I met with her father that first night, that was one of the hardest conversation I’ve ever had,” says Winters.

The conversation drew many questions.

Burns says Giddings’ father was “wondering what was he [McDaniel] thinking? What makes somebody do a gruesome murder like that?”

Winters added justice will never be fully served, because the Giddings’ family lost something they’ll never get back in this lifetime, but he hopes the guilty plea will bring a much needed closure to those who lost a loved one.

Both men agreed it was a team between the law enforcement and the district attorney’s office effort to put an end to this case.

Winters believes what McDaniels did was an evil act, and he should never get out of his sentence of life in prison.

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