Local News

Jury selection continues in Fayetteville death penalty trial

Posted April 17, 2013

— Two more alternate jurors are needed before the death penalty trial of a man accused of raping and killing a 5-year-old Fayetteville girl can begin.

Eight men and four women had been seated in the jury by late Tuesday, and the first of three alternates was selected Wednesday.

Earlier, eight potential jurors had been excused, including a woman who said her husband was a childhood friend of Mario McNeill, the 32-year-old accused of raping and killing Shaniya Davis in November 2009. Another potential juror was excused because he didn't tell prosecutors he was facing an assault on a female charge.

McNeill could face the death sentence if convicted of murder.

Shaniya's mother also faces charges that she sold her daughter to pay a drug debt. Antoinette Davis hasn't been tried yet.

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  • airbornemonty Apr 17, 2013

    I can read Mario McNeill's mind, he will take the chance that a jury might find him innocent.

    If he is found guilty, a few months later he will ask for a retrial claiming that he had inadequate counsel and so it goes.

  • lovesanimals Apr 17, 2013

    Praying that justice will be served for that poor innocent baby. And may punishment be harsh and swift for McNeill and for mommy dearest.

  • geniegurl428 Apr 17, 2013

    We'd like to hope that the mother didn't use her daughter to settle a drug debt, but sad to say, it may have been a real possibility in this case. I'm just ready for the trial to start, and I hope it is publicized.

  • my2cents-justsaying Apr 17, 2013

    I wish that it needed to be proven that Shaniya's mother sold her...and that it wasn't true...but my understanding was that her mother admitted to giving the child to McNeill...

  • 678devilish Apr 17, 2013

    Shaniya's mother also faces charges that she sold her daughter to pay a drug debt

    I don't believe the mother sold her daughter. I pray its proven in court that she did not do that. I do believe Mario McNeill just took the child without the mother's knowledge or approval of taking the child. May the truth come out in court.

  • 678devilish Apr 17, 2013

    Praying that justice will be served for Shaniya Davis.