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Slain girl's mom: 'I gave her to him to cover $200'

Posted October 18, 2013

Antoinette Nicole Davis walks into a Cumberland County courtroom on Oct. 10, 2013, for a pre-trial hearing. She is charged with handing over her 5-year-old daughter to settle a drug debt, and the girl was later found dead.

— A judge ruled Friday that statements made to police by the mother of a 5-year-old Fayetteville girl who was murdered almost four years ago can be used during her upcoming trial, despite defense arguments that investigators bullied her during days of questioning.

Antoinette Nicole Davis, 29, faces numerous charges in connection with Shaniya Davis' death, and defense attorneys said prosecutors should be barred from introducing her statements to police as evidence at her trial, which is scheduled to start Oct. 28.

Shaniya was reported missing from her Fayetteville home on Nov. 10, 2009, and Fayetteville police talked to Davis, other family members and neighbors to generate information to help locate her.

Davis' lawyers said Friday that investigators questioned her on and off over four days but never advised her of her rights to remain silent and to confer with an attorney. Prosecutors responded by saying that she was never under arrest during the questioning – she was there only to help police find her daughter – and so never had to be read her Miranda rights.

"She was arguably coerced and bullied by two law enforcement officers," defense attorney D.W. Bray said, noting that, by the fourth day of questioning, she was sobbing and, in the words of prosecutors, "broke."

"I gave her to him to cover $200. He was only supposed to have sex," a weeping Davis told investigators.

The statement led police to Mario Andrette McNeill and eventually to Shaniya's body, which was found Nov. 16, 2009, in an overgrown field on the Lee-Harnett county line. An autopsy determined that she had been sexually assaulted and suffocated.

McNeill, 32, was convicted in May of kidnapping and assaulting Shaniya before killing her, and he was sentenced to death.

Prosecutors allege that Davis gave Shaniya to McNeill to settle a drug debt.

She had been charged with first-degree murder, first-degree rape, first-degree sex offense, child abuse, sexual servitude with a child, child abuse sexual act, human trafficking and indecent liberties with a child. Prosecutors on Friday also charged her with criminal conspiracy and first-degree kidnapping.

She doesn't face the death penalty in the case.

Bray said Davis' statements should be thrown out, arguing that police browbeat her so much that she was effectively in custody.

Superior Court Judge Jim Ammons denied the motion, saying that her statements were voluntary.

"There were no threats or suggestion of violence" by police, Ammons said, adding that he would preclude prosecutors from using any statements she made after her arrest.

The defense also has called for the human trafficking charge to be dismissed, at the very least. McNeill's kidnapping conviction makes pursuing a human trafficking case against Davis "legally impossible," according to Bray, because either Davis gave her consent to McNeill taking the child or he abducted her.


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  • happygirl14 Oct 28, 2013

    Some people don't deserve to be parents.....let them both rot in jail.

  • hihuwatlu Oct 21, 2013

    She gave him the child to pay off drug debt- Trafficking. He didn't return the child - Kidnapping. Both Guilty and deserve so much worse than what they will get. I really hope they don't let her off on that one.

  • southerntalent Oct 18, 2013

    "I gave her to him to cover $200. He was only supposed to have sex," a weeping Davis told investigators.


  • 75Tarheel Oct 18, 2013

    Not sure what WRAL didn't like about my first post unless it was biblical name for "the devils den" so here goes again.

    This "woman" who is a lost cause will never see the light of a free day again or be able to bring a life into the world again. Thank God for that. And her soul will most assuredly lie with the devil just as Shaniya's soul lives with the Angels.

    May the Jury see her for what she is and may Judge Ammons impose the harshest sentence available to him.

  • SusanBAnthony9 Oct 18, 2013

    " There was a point where she had potential to be something more than what she has become. . ."

    True, but when was that? I think it's much younger than 11. The first 2 years of life are crucial in forming the character of a person.

  • Setnitst8 Oct 18, 2013

    If anyone deserves the death penaly, it's her.

  • itsmyownopinion Oct 18, 2013

    So she pleaded guilty -- she knows she is.

  • Lightfoot3 Oct 18, 2013

    I think some of the charges against her are a bit over the top. Surprised that jay walking and fishing without a license hasn't been thrown in. Granted, she deserves the death penalty for what she did, renting a child out for rape.

  • Jack Flash Oct 18, 2013

    "Another example of a person whose only skill is the ability to reproduce. When will we ever learn. Sickening and disgusting. Nothing would be bad enough for this woman. Nothing."

    I understand the emotion guiding that sentiment, but here's the problem w/ it: Ms. Davis wasn't always a lost cause. It's unacceptable to believe that was the case. There was a point where she had potential to be something more than what she has become -- a good mother, at the very, very least. If we lose sight of that, I think we forget that the next Antoinette Davis isn't necessarily going to reveal herself at the age of 11. When we lose sight of that, we forget that as a society, we need to make choices that make things like this less likely. Otherwise we're just going to experience the same heartbreak over and over again.

  • bluecanary Oct 18, 2013

    Wow. Looks like the lack of crack in prison has been bad for her metabolism. Glad my tax money is paying for such good solid meals for this miserable waste of skin. As for the lawyer who is trying so very hard to get her off...I hope he sleeps well at night.