MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) - Motion hearings in the Stephen McDaniel murder case are underway Monday at the Bibb County courthouse. McDaniel is accused of murdering and dismembering Mercer Law grad Lauren Giddings in June 2011.
Monday marks day one of five days the court has set aside to listen to dozens of motions filed by the defense.
The first witness called to the stand was Bibb County Superior Court Judge Edgar Ennis. Ennis signed the search warrants back in June 2011 that allowed law enforcement to search McDaniel's apartment, car, and collect DNA evidence.
The defense claims Judge Ennic was not neutral or detached when he signed the search warrants. McDaniel's defense attorney, Frank Hogue, says McDaniel was an intern in Judge Ennis' office and the judge knew him.
When asked if he realized he knew McDaniel, Ennis said, "There was something about the name that rang a bell."
More law enforcement officials who were there the day they found Giddings' torso in a trash can are expected to testify.
McDaniel is inside the courtroom with his attorneys during the hearing. Giddings' family is also sitting in on the precedings.
You can follow Skyler Henry on Twitter for updates from court. Watch 41NBC News at 6 tonight for the latest.