Local News

Slain Fayetteville girl's mother released on bond

Posted February 24, 2010 2:56 p.m. EST
Updated February 24, 2010 11:14 p.m. EST

— The Fayetteville woman accused of prostituting her 5-year-old daughter, who was then killed, has been released on bond, authorities said Wednesday.

Antoinette Nicole Davis, 25, was released Sunday from North Carolina Correctional Institution for Women, where she was held in a safe-keeping cell, on a $51,000 bond. Cumberland County deputies then returned her to Fayetteville, authorities said.

Shaniya Nicole Davis was reported missing from her home on Nov. 10. Her body was found in a patch of kudzu off a rural road near the Lee-Harnett County line six days later.

Antoinette Davis is charged with human trafficking, felony child abuse–prostitution, filing a false police report and obstructing a police investigation. Arrest warrants state that Davis "did knowingly provide Shaniya with the intent that she be held in sexual servitude" and "did permit an act of prostitution with Shaniya."

Her bond was initially set in November at $50,000 on the human trafficking and child abuse charges and $1,000 on the obstruction and false report charges, attorney D.W. Bray said Wednesday. A family member posted the bond this weekend, he said.

Antoinette Davis was staying Wednesday with an aunt on Mary Street, off Ramsey Street, in Fayetteville. Her uncle, Arthur Cromartie, said she was "doing fine."

"She just wants to rest and get herself together," Cromartie said. "It's hard being behind bars."

Carey Lockhart-Davis, Shaniya Davis' aunt, said Wednesday that she is upset over Antoinette Davis’ release.

"When I first found out about it, I was a little angered,” Carey Lockhart-Davis said. "I just miss Shaniya, and what about her life and her freedom.”

Antoinette Davis' next court hearing is set for April 15.

Mario Andrette McNeill, 29, of 2613 Pine Springs Drive, is charged with first-degree murder, first-degree rape of a child and first-degree kidnapping in the case. Police have characterized him as a family acquaintance.

McNeill is being held without bond in a safe-keeping cell at Central Prison.

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.