Mario Andrette McNeill and Antoinette Davis Go on Trial in February for the Murder of Shaniya Davis
The murder trial for the man who allegedly bought, raped and killed 5-year-old Shaniya Davis in 2009 is scheduled for Feb. 18.
Mario Andrette McNeill will go on trial more than three years after Shaniya’s death. The girl’s mother also faces charges; her trial is scheduled for Feb. 18, too, but only one of the cases will go forward then, said Cumberland County District Attorney Billy West.
It hasn’t been determined which trial will start first nor whether they will be conducted back-to-back.
That was my first thought, but that news would probably come closer to the date.
Reporter Paul Woolverton gave a few reasons why the long delay in setting a date.
While it typically takes a few years for a murder case to go to trial in Cumberland County, this one took longer than most.
West said there was a delay in his office receiving the investigative file from law enforcement because there were so many agencies involved, including the Police Department, Federal Bureau of Investigation, State Bureau of Investigation and the Lee County Sheriff’s Office.
Also, West said, it was difficult to coordinate with the schedules of McNeill’s lawyers, who are from out of town and spend most of their time defending clients in capital murder trials in numerous jurisdictions.
One of McNeill’s lawyers has another capital case late this year, West said. If that trial runs longer than expected, the Shaniya Davis case will be delayed until March 11.
Jeezus. These people are nuts. If it wasn’t for the stalling, hiding of evidence, and sanitizing of employees of the county’s social services department as well as the lack of backbone with local law enforcement coming up with other clues and proof about who else was involved or contributed to the circumstances leading to her murder, we wouldn’t still be sitting awaiting justice for this little girl.
There was an opinion piece published four days later, on August 14 about just this kind of thing:
Hardly anyone has forgotten the sickening crime and the people charged with it. But Shaniya will be dead more than three years before a trial begins.
Trials for McNeil and Davis are slated for Feb. 18. But they won’t be simultaneous. Overlap of prosecutorial and investigative staffs makes it logistically impossible. Other scheduling problems may put off the first trial until March 11.
So, no trials until more than three years after Shaniya’s murder. No resolution for longer than that. Is this what the Founders meant in the 6th Amendment, when they wrote that, “In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial …”?
This is only a reminder of modern reality. Nobody gets a speedy trial anymore. Getting a hearing on a speeding ticket can take months. Orchestrating a murder trial – especially this one, with reports and evidence from multiple investigating agencies – takes years.
Yeah. But the means by which a guilty verdict is going to be reached is going to be quite interesting. Because I can name a few people right now—from Bradley Lockhart to those social workers—who should be facing lesser but important charges, if not reprimands, but they won’t because deals have also been made.
I wouldn’t be surprised that it was more a collusion among all these agencies about just who obviously was going to go to jail or fry, while those who really needed their clocks as well as their desks cleaned. Add to that foot-dragging so that the populace calms down and forgets or simply falls asleep or doesn’t care so that they can continue to sneak this through.
Those agencies still serve Cumberland County, its cities and ultimately its citizens. But that’s just my two cents.
- At last, trial date set for the rape and murder of five-year-old Shaniya Davis (mccannexposure.wordpress.com)
- No Trial Date Set for Mario McNeill or for Shaniya’s Mother, Antoinette Davis (thisblksistaspage.wordpress.com)
- Ten Years After – Chandra Levy Murder Trial Starts (blogs.lawyers.com)