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Mario McNeill Guilty In Shaniya Davis Murder Trial

2:59 PM, May 23, 2013   |    comments
Mario McNeill Courtesy WRAL
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Fayetteville, NC -- A Fayetteville man has been found guilty for kidnapping and murdering 5-year-old Shaniya Davis in 2009.

Mario Andrette McNeill, 33, was found guilty of First Degree Murder, First Degree Kidnapping, Sexual Offense of a Child, Indecent Liberties with a Child and Human Trafficking, according to a report from WRAL. McNeill was acquitted for the charges of rape.

Jurors will now decide if McNeill will receive life in prison without parole or the death penalty.

Thursday was the jury's second day of deliberations.

The Fayetteville Observer reported that the jury got the case at around 11:30 a.m. Wednesday after hearing closing arguments from defense attorneys for Mario McNeill. The jury deliberated for almost four hours before going home.

Defense lawyer Harold "Butch" Pope told jurors the state "jumped the gun" when it charged McNeill with raping and murdering Shaniya Davis. Pope said the state hadn't proved that a sexual assault took place or when or where the child was killed.

Shaniya's body was found Nov. 16, 2009, six days after her mother reported her missing.

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