Mother, friend plead not guilty in Fayetteville girl's death
Posted February 9, 2012
Fayetteville, N.C. — The mother of a 5-year-old Fayetteville girl and a family friend pleaded not guilty Thursday to charges stemming from the girl's death more than two years ago.
Mario Andrette McNeill, 30, has been charged with murder, kidnapping and rape in the death of Shaniya Davis, whose body was found in a kudzu patch near the Lee-Harnett county line on Nov. 16, 2009, six days after her mother, Antoinette Nicole Davis, reported her missing from their Fayetteville home.
Authorities say Antoinette Davis was complicit in her daughter's death. Arrest warrants stated that she "did knowingly provide Shaniya with the intent that she be held in sexual servitude" and "did permit an act of prostitution with Shaniya."
An autopsy determined that Shaniya died of asphyxiation and that injuries she suffered were consistent with a sexual assault. A medical examiner noted in the autopsy that investigators believe the girl was used to pay off a drug debt.
A Cumberland County grand jury indicted Antoinette Davis in July on charges of first-degree murder, indecent liberties with a child, felony child abuse, felony sexual servitude, rape of a child, sexual offense of a child by an adult offender, human trafficking and making a false police report.
Prosecutors have said they plan to seek the death penalty against McNeill but not Antoinette Davis. No trial dates have been set.