Mario Andrette McNeill, Accused Murderer of Shaniya Davis, Given Trial Date of February 18 and Faces Death Penalty; Mother Antoinette Davis to be Tried Separately
Mario Andrette McNeill, who is accused of buying, raping and then murdering Shaniya Davis, will go on trial February 18 in Fayetteville, NC. His lawyers had requested that McNeill not face the death penalty in this case, but Superior Court Judge Jim Ammons denied the motion, which seems to have been one of two delays before trial.
Defense attorneys Butch Pope and Terry Alford also asked to delay the trial by 60 days to give attorneys more time to review video from four cameras at the mobile home park where Shaniya was taken. Ammons denied that as well.
Ammons said he would decide which crime scene and autopsy photos prosecutors can show to the jury after the defense asked that none be shown.
McNeill said nothing during the brief hearing – his last court appearance before jury selection begins for his trial on Feb. 18.
McNeil, who remains in jail without bail, did not speak during his hearing Friday. Wearing an orange inmate jumpsuit, goatee and long dreadlocks, he sat by his defense team of Terry Alford and Harold “Butch” Pope. McNeil swiveled in his seat during the 35-minute hearing, appearing at times to smirk as his lawyers went through motions.
Prosecutors could have decided to try Davis before McNeil. Her trial will come at some point after McNeil’s. District Attorney Billy West declined to comment on whether Davis will be called to testify against McNeil.
It is unclear why McNeill, through his lawyers, asked to prevent the state from asking for the ultimate sentence,but I would not doubt that it is the fact that Antoinette Davis, Shaniya’s mother, is not facing the death penalty in her trial. Antoinette, however, faces life without the possibility of parole in her case.
Antoinette Davis is not facing trial along with McNeill. Her trial may take place in March.
All I can say is, at last. What still interests me is what is going to be omitted as well as what will be used to convict him and Antoinette Davis. What do you think?
- Shaniya Davis Murder Trial: State can seek death penalty (mccannexposure.wordpress.com)
- No one sentenced to death in North Carolina this year (charlotteobserver.com)