Local News

Accused child killer: 'Release me'

Posted May 17, 2011 5:39 p.m. EDT
Updated May 17, 2011 5:44 p.m. EDT

— A man charged with raping and killing a 5-year-old Fayetteville girl has requested his release while awaiting trial.

"Release me. It's easiest," Mario Andrette McNeill said in a hand-written note from Central Prison in Raleigh, where he is being held for his own safety.

McNeill, 30, was arrested in November 2009 on charges he kidnapped, raped and murdered Shaniya Davis. Her body was found in a kudzu patch near the Lee-Harnett county line six days after she disappeared from her Fayetteville home.

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.

Shaniya's mother, Antoinette Nicole Davis, 26, was 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."

A grand jury hasn't yet indicted McNeill or Antoinette Davis in the case, and no trial dates can be set until then. The Cumberland County grand jury meets next on June 13.

McNeill addressed his request "To Whom This May Concern" and mailed it to the Cumberland County Clerk of Court.