FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. — Attorneys on Tuesday are expected to summarize the case of a Fayetteville man accused on raping and killing a 5-year-old girl more than three years ago.
Mario Andrette McNeill, 32, is charged with murder, kidnapping and rape in the death of Shaniya Davis. Her body 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.
If the eight-man, four-woman jury finds him guilty, they would then hear evidence before deciding whether to sentence him to life in prison without parole or death.
Prosecutors called 44 witnesses over the past three weeks before resting their case Thursday morning. McNeill did not testify and his defense attorneys presented no evidence.
Defense attorney Terry Alford asked that all charges be dismissed against McNeill for insufficient evidence, but Superior Court Judge Jim Ammons denied the motion.
Investigators say Davis' mother, Antoinette Davis, gave her girl to McNeill to pay off a drug debt. Prosecutors say they'll try Davis after McNeill's trial ends.