A man accused of raping and killing a five year old girl in Cumberland County more than three years ago has declined a last minute plea deal.
Mario Andretti McNeill maintained his innocence Tuesday morning, after prosecutors offered him a deal to avoid the death penalty and plead guilty.
The 32-year-old McNeill faces first-degree murder, first-degree rape of a child for the November 2009 death of Shaniya Davis.
Authorities say the child was given up by her mother to settle a drug debt. Her body was dumped off Highway 87 near the Lee-Harnett county line.
Because McNeill rejected the offer, jury selection will continue in Fayetteville.