Local News

Suspect in girl's death wants jury to hear full police interview

Posted May 14, 2013
Updated May 15, 2013

Map Marker  Find News Near Me

— The Fayetteville man accused of raping and killing a 5-year-old girl more than three years ago on Tuesday demanded that jurors hear his six-hour interview with police in its entirety.

Mario Andrette McNeill, 32, is charged with murder, kidnapping and rape in the death of Shaniya Davis. He could face the death penalty if convicted of murder.

Shaniya was found on Nov. 16, 2009, in a kudzu patch off N.C. Highway 87 on the Lee-Harnett county line, six days after her mother reported her missing from their Fayetteville mobile home.

McNeill was questioned by police three days after Shaniya disappeared, after investigators determined he and the girl had been at a Sanford motel.

Prosecutors planned to read portions of his statement to the eight-man, four-woman jury on Wednesday, but McNeill said he wanted them to hear everything.

Defense attorney Terry Alford told Superior Court Judge Jim Ammons that he and fellow defense attorney Butch Pope tried to dissuade McNeill from his demands but said they had "reached an impasse with that."

Ammons warned McNeill that he was entitled to keep some of the material covered in the interview from the jury, such as prior drug charges and a conviction for shooting three people.

Mario McNeill's defense attorneys Defense attorneys disagree with McNeill's plan to air entire police interview

"Mr. McNeill, are you sure this is what you want to do?" Ammons asked.

"I want you to leave it in," McNeill replied.

"He wants it all coming in. We're going to defend his right to make that decision," Alford said.

The statement will be a clear departure from several days of forensic testimony as prosecutors tried to link McNeill to evidence taken from Shaniya's home, the Sanford hotel and the site where her body was found.

An autopsy determined that Shaniya was suffocated and suffered injuries "consistent with a sexual assault" shortly before she died.

Investigators say Shaniya's mother, Antoinette Nicole Davis, sold her daughter to McNeill to pay off a drug debt.

She is charged with 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 will be tried after McNeill's case is over, but prosecutors aren't seeking the death penalty against her.

18 Comments

This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • IPayYouPay May 15, 2:10 p.m.

    I am LMAO. He's so tough, smirking at the cameras every time he walks in .... not listening to his attorneys.... oh, darn.

  • Bartmeister May 15, 10:06 a.m.

    Who knows what he's thinking. Might be trying to establish some street cred for when he goes to prison. Probably some statements made in the interview that show him in a "tough" light. He's not the first tough guy to go to death row.

  • URADA May 15, 9:39 a.m.

    He did it. He deserves to die. He was seen taking her from the trailer park, seen on camera and by witnesses with the child at the hotel, and he told LE where to find her body. He's guilty, the end.

  • rocket May 15, 9:35 a.m.

    "You do realize he told LEO where to find the body at right? What are you thinking?"

    I'm thinking he probably did it. But I was responding hypothetically to another post. If he, by chance, is innocent and knows who did it why would he be putting himself through this. It doesn't make sense.

  • JimmyPhillipsSr May 15, 9:29 a.m.

    Seems that his cognitive abilities are working fine, I hope he gets what he deserves,the death penalty.

  • vile garbage May 15, 9:24 a.m.

    "If he stated he didn't do it, CONFESS who Did"

    Assuming he didn't do it, how can you be so sure he knows who did? I'm pretty sure in that scenario most people would give up the guilty party as oppossed to facing a trial for this crime. -rocket

    You do realize he told LEO where to find the body at right? What are you thinking?

  • Country Girlz Have MORE fun May 15, 9:21 a.m.

    Is the girlfriend going to take the stand? In a previous WRAL story it was stated when the police arrived to pick him up "you know what this is about" to his girlfriend. What does she know or what was she told by him?

  • Country Girlz Have MORE fun May 15, 9:19 a.m.

    If McNeill wants to be his own attorney, why are tax payers paying for his deffense. I think he wants everyone to believe he is CRAZY or he wants to die. Next, he will be demanding to be on the "stand" himself so he can continue to make this a circus for his own amusement (all the while smiling).

  • RustyDawg May 15, 9:08 a.m.

    He wants to see a juror nod so he can file for a mistrial!

  • rocket May 15, 9:03 a.m.

    "If he stated he didn't do it, CONFESS who Did"

    Assuming he didn't do it, how can you be so sure he knows who did? I'm pretty sure in that scenario most people would give up the guilty party as oppossed to facing a trial for this crime.

More...