Local News

Death penalty sought in Fayetteville girl's killing

Posted October 5, 2011

— Cumberland County prosecutors said Wednesday that they plan to seek the death penalty against the man charged with killing a 5-year-old Fayetteville girl almost two years ago but not against the girl's mother.

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 believe Antoinette Davis is 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.

She was arraigned Wednesday, and a judge set her bond on the murder charge at $2 million. Bonds totaling $1.5 million were set previously on the other charges.

McNeill, whom police have described as a friend of the family, is being held without bond at Central Prison in Raleigh.


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  • UPTOP Oct 7, 2011

    WOW ! I think she should get life behind bars !! putting her to death will not bring back little Shaniya ! Her dad has to live with the fact he allowed her to be in that environment !

  • missmynellie Oct 7, 2011

    Why are the CC prosecutors not seeking the death penalty for antionette??? Shaniya died during the commission of antionette's felonies. Doesn't that make it a capital punishment crime??? A child shouldn't necessarily feel that a random person won't hurt them. But they should feel confident that their "mother" would not participate in the things done to Shaniya!! Therefore I feel antionette's punishment should be the same as mcneil's.

  • spatialorientation Oct 6, 2011

    We need to end the death penalty! Murder is never justice. Innocents have surely been executed in the past and will be in the future. It is just flawed public policy. Sending inmates to death row even costs more than imposing life sentences. Kill Capital Punishment!! More commentary and coverage at http://spatialorientation.com/tag/death-penalty

  • Vita Brevis Ars Longa Oct 5, 2011

    WOW! so many NC folks screaming DEATH, DEATH, DEATH! Purportedly this is a Christian state? Part of the bible belt? Eye for an eye is Old testament, right? Guess not with North Carolina folks

  • sssh.. whisper Oct 5, 2011

    GOOD!!!! But the "mother" should be sent to death row also!!!

  • itsmyownopinion Oct 5, 2011

    I agree her "mother" deserves the death penalty also.
    Shaniya's Legacy obituary is still open and contains 5,536 comments.


  • dcblackburn1963 Oct 5, 2011


  • nclissy79 Oct 5, 2011

    I hope they have a strong case to acheive this and they aren't just being smug thinking that they can win the death penalty since the last first degree murder case of a child resulted in a guilty verdict.

    SHAME on the mother for what she did and she shall have her day in court as well. SHAME on that guy for the deplorable, despicable, and inhumane things he did to an innocent child. i just don't understand the minds of some of these folks. Give a child a chance!

  • sunshineonmyshoulder Oct 5, 2011

    As far as I'm concerned, if the mother had been doing what a momma should do, this little girl would most likely still be alive. Shaniya's health and happiness was her mother and father's responsibility. They failed; the mother, misserablly! If she did what they claim with her own child; she has NO HUMAN COMPASSION. She deserves the same fate that she dealt her daughter when she handed her over to this man. I would have given my life for the drug debt I owed before giving my 4, 5, 10, 14 or 17 year old daughter to anyone for anything...NO HUMAN COMPASSION. This mother is just as guilty as Mr. McNeill.

  • buford Oct 5, 2011

    Wasn't the mom pregnant when she was arrested? What happened to that baby...did she ever have it?