The trial for the man charged with raping and killing a 5-year-old Fayetteville girl more than three years ago will be held in February.
A judge denied a request Friday from Mario Andrette McNeil's lawyers to delay the capital murder trial by 60 days. That means jury selection will begin Feb. 18.
Superior Court Judge Jim Ammons also denied a request by McNeil's lawyers to remove the possibility of the death penalty.
The 32-year-old McNeil is charged with raping and killing Shaniya Davis in November 2009. The child's mother, Antoinette Nicole Davis, is charged with giving her daughter to McNeil to settle a drug debt.
She also faces charges, including murder.
Prosecutors have said the trial is likely to take two to three months.