Jury Says Man Convicted Of Killing 5-Year-Old Should Get Death Penalty

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Jurors say a man convicted of killing a 5-year-old Fayetteville girl in 2009 should die for the crime.

The Cumberland County jury deliberated less than 40 minutes Wednesday before deciding that Mario McNeill should get the death sentence for the death of Shaniya Davis. Shaniya's body was found in a kudzu patch six days after her mother reported her missing.

A medical examiner said the autopsy showed Shaniya was suffocated and had injuries consistent with sexual assault.

The jury last week convicted the 32-year-old McNeill of several charges, including first-degree murder and sexual offense of a child.

After presenting no evidence in his defense at trial, McNeill said Tuesday he wanted no one to testify on his behalf before sentencing. He ordered his attorneys not to give closing arguments


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The man charged with raping and killing a 5-year-old Fayetteville girl more than three years ago is going on trial.

The trial for 32-year-old Mario Andrette McNeill is scheduled to begin Monday in Cumberland County court. He's charged in the death of Shaniya Davis, whose body was found in November 2009 in Harnett County.

Her mother remains in jail on charges that she gave her daughter to McNeill to pay a drug debt.

A searcher who was at the scene when Shaniya's body was found says he'll never forget that day. Jeff Riccio was training officers from the U.S. Virgin Islands. One found Shaniya's body in a ravine, hidden by kudzu and surrounded by deer carcasses.

He says he's glad he at least brought closure to those looking for Shaniya.


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