The trial for the man accused of killing and dismembering a law school graduate will be moved to Henry County, The Macon Telegraph reported Wednesday.
Judge Howard Simms agreed to move Stephen McDaniel's trial about 60 miles north due to "incessant" media coverage, the newspaper reported, citing the court order.
McDaniel, who grew up in Gwinnett County, is accused of killing Lauren Giddings, 27, in Macon in June 2011. Giddings, who had just graduated from Mercer University's law school, was last seen after a night out with friends on June 25, police previously said.
Five days later, police discovered her torso wrapped in plastic in a garbage bin beside her apartment building across the street from the university. McDaniel, 28, was a next-door neighbor of Giddings, who also graduated from Agnes Scott College in Decatur.
McDaniel has been held at the Bibb County jail since his July 1, 2011, arrest on a burglary charge. One month later, he was charged with murder for allegedly killing Giddings. Prosecutors initially sought the death penalty for McDaniel, but in February removed capital punishment from the case.
At Mercer, Giddings served as president of the Federalist Society and participated in the Association of Women Law Students. Giddings played softball while studying at Agnes Scott, where she graduated in 2006.
Before starting law school, Giddings worked just over a year as a project assistant in the discovery center for King and Spalding's Atlanta office, a spokesman for the firm previously said.