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Mario Andretti McNeill, 32, of Fayetteville, N.C., is charged with murder, kidnapping and rape in the death of 5-year-old Shaniya Davis, left. Jury selection in his trial began on April 8, 2013 and he could face the death penalty if convicted, CBS affiliate WRAL reports. The trial is reportedly expected to last around eight weeks. Shaniya's body was found in an overgrown area off N.C. Highway 87 near the Lee-Harnett county line on Nov. 16, 2009, six days after her mother, Antoinette Nicole Davis, reported her missing from their mobile home on Sleepy Hollow Drive in Fayetteville. McNeill, who was seen with the girl on a Sanford hotel security camera hours after her disappearance, later surrendered to police after investigators contacted his family. Police said he confessed to abducting her, according to the station. 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, the station reported. Authorities say Antoinette Davis was complicit in her daughter's death. Arrest warrants state 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." Davis will be tried after McNeill's case is over. Prosecutors are not seeking the death penalty against her, the station reports.
Author: CBS News Staff
Credit: Family Photo