Mario McNeill Sentenced to Death for the Murder of Shaniya Davis
Boy, that was quick. Deliberation for the death sentence took all of about 35 minutes. The decision happened very early in the afternoon. But what McNeill did in refusing a defense and making paper cranes at his defense table was like flicking boogers at the jury. He no longer gave a damn about dignifying his own life.
Jurors deliberated a little more than a half-hour before reaching a decision.
“I can never get Shaniya back. You’ve taken that from me,” said Bradley Lockhart, Shaniya’s father. “You were the last thing my daughter got to look at.”
Ammons addressed McNeill before McNeill was escorted from the courtroom.
“You did not have to kill that child,” Ammons said.
“Take him out of here now,” Ammons told the bailiffs.
Ammons later apologized to Shaniya’s family for not being able to bring them justice. He said the trial was the best that could be done.
McNeill, who is the first person to be sentenced to death in Cumberland County in six years, declined to make a statement in court.
Shaniya’s father, Bradley Lockhart, berated McNeill after the sentence was announced, saying he treated the entire trial as a joke.
“The media glorifies you as you walk in with smirks and smiles,” Lockhart said. “I’m not going to worship you. I’m going to pray for you.”
The media is glorifying McNeill? Hardly. I think the opposite is true. Lockhart is being glorified as the perfect father. Right. He should pray for himself, really. Because he has the death of that little girl on his conscience forever. The histrionics and the posturing on his part should end now. The Universe does not suffer lies, even from parents of murdered children, to prosper. I still say that Lockhart’s exemption from prosecution was a deliberate mistake, made to order so that the authorities could prosecute the blacks—and only the blacks—involved in this case. That is not to say that they were innocent or blameless. Hell, no. Simply, they were easy targets. The white father of a biracial child? Probably not as simple to certain sensibilities. Bradley Lockhart was not innocent by a long shot; he was an instigator of the disastrous events that led to that child’s rape and murder.
I note that Lockhart’s sister, who cared for Shaniya, may not have been present for the trial. Too bad any testimony coming from her about the true nature of Shaniya’s relationship with her father and her mother will never see the light of day.
First and foremost, however, Shaniya Davis will never come back because of this sick creature, Mario McNeill. His defense waited until the day of the trial to show that McNeill was unhinged, but it’s rather late in the day to try to cop an insanity plea. His defense was patently weak because McNeill brought in no other evidence, including identification of the person or persons to whom he supposedly handed Shaniya off. And like I said before, he must have been deluded that he could beat a murder rap. You have to be a bit off in order to murder someone, especially a child, I’m certain. But I am also certain that Mario McNeill knew exactly what he was doing when he raped and murdered that little girl. I am convinced that he murdered little Shaniya to shut her up about the crime he perpetrated on her.
No doubt that the trial of Shaniya’s mother, Antoinette Davis, will be vastly different. I’d sure like to see her take the stand and explain herself.
I am so sorry that you are gone, Shaniya, at the hands of these people who didn’t deserve you. Come back to us again in better circumstances, dear child.
- Jury Says Convicted Killer of 5-Year-Old Should Get Death Penalty (witn.com)
- Jurors go home without verdict in McNeill trial (newsobserver.com)
- NC man declines chance to fight death sentence (newsobserver.com)
- Video of NC suspect’s police interview screened (sfgate.com)
- Engineer links car soil to McNeill in girl’s death (sanfordherald.com)