Local News

Search Warrant Suggests Garner Teen Attended Party After Neighbor's Murder

Posted January 4, 2005

— Search warrants returned on Tuesday morning reveal new information into the murder investigation of a Garner teenager.

Kenneth O'Neal, 19, is charged with stabbing and killing his 15-year-old neighbor, Amanda Maynard on New Year's Day.

According to the statements from police, O'Neal's mother, Donna, is the one who called 911 at 3:12 a.m. Saturday saying she heard a scream from across the street.

The police statements indicate that O'Neal confessed to killing Maynard. In some points, O'Neal is described as being distraught, and at other times police found him completely unaffected by the crime.

According to the statements, he apparently told police he entered the girl's home, she screamed and he stabbed her in the head.

He then said he returned to a party up the street where he had been earlier that night. The statements said he threw the sheath to his knife in the trash can at that house and then washed his hands there. He then told some jokes and played the piano before returning to his house.

He said he told his mother to call 911. Police talked to O'Neal's sister, Shasha. She said her brother had been crying. Police later found O'Neal at a friend's house in Angier. O'Neal does not have a prior criminal record.

Police seized some of his clothing, books and CDs -- one of which is a compilation of funeral songs. They said there are some questions about the timing of Donna O'Neal's phone call to police.

The timeline indicates that there is no way his mother could have heard a scream.

Investigators said Maynard was already dead at this time, because O'Neal had already gone back to the party, called a friend and returned home at about 3:12 a.m. Authorities have issued a search warrant for Donna O'Neal's red Ford Escort.

As investigators continue go through evidence in Maynard's death, counselors at Garner Senior High School were available to help classmates deal with the loss as they returned to school Tuesday.

"She was just a nice, sweet girl," said Catherine Johnson, principal of Garner Senior High School.

Johnson said Maynard was a good student and well liked at school. She said the news of her death will be difficult for students to deal with when they return to school on Tuesday.

"Death at that age is just so sad to us and to their friends," she said.

If students and staff want to talk, counselors will be available at the school on Tuesday.

A memorial service for Maynard is scheduled Tuesday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church in Garner.

Her body will then be transported to Kentucky, her home state, for burial.

O'Neal made his first court appearance on Monday. A probable cause hearing is scheduled for Jan. 24.

and

Renee Chou

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