Local News

Mother of slain Fayetteville girl charged with murder

Posted July 6, 2011 3:26 p.m. EDT
Updated July 6, 2011 4:24 p.m. EDT

— The mother of a 5-year-old Fayetteville girl who was killed almost two years ago was indicted Wednesday in her death.

A Cumberland County grand jury indicted Antoinette Nicole Davis, 27, of 607 Mechanic St., on charges of 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 was arrested and placed in the Cumberland County jail. She was denied bond on the murder charge, and bonds totaling $1.5 million were set for the other charges.

Shaniya Davis' body was found in a kudzu patch near the Lee-Harnett county line six days after Antoinette Davis reported the child missing from their Fayetteville home in November 2009.

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.

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

She was released after posting bond on those charges in February 2010.

Gavin MacRoberts, a spokesman for the Fayetteville Police Department, said in a statement that police presented the murder charge against Davis to the grand jury "after an extensive review of the investigative file."

Mario Andrette McNeill, 30, has been charged with murder, kidnapping and rape in Shaniya's death. Police have said he was a friend of the family.

McNeill still hasn't been indicted in the case, and he recently sent a hand-written note from Central Prison in Raleigh, where he is being held for his own safety, to the Cumberland County Clerk of Court to request his release while awaiting trial.

"Release me. It's easiest,"  he said in the note.