Mario McNeill sentenced to death in 2009 murder of 5-year-old

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FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) — A jury has recommended Mario McNeill be sentenced to death for the murder of 5-year-old Shaniya Davis.

The jury in the case reached their verdict within 30 minutes of receiving instructions from a judge following an one-sided closing argument from prosecutors for why McNeill should get the death penalty.

The court then accepted the sentence.

Following the decision, Shaniya’s father, Brad Lockhart, told McNeill from the witness stand that he made a mockery of the court by laughing and smirking.

“You didn’t win,” he said. “I’m not going to worship you. I’m just going to pray for you.”

The jury found the 33-year-old guilty last week of first-degree murder in the death of 5-year-old Shaniya Davis.

Prosecutors say in 2009, McNeill took the child from her Fayetteville home to sexually assault her at a motel in Sanford before killing her and dumping her body in an area known to be a place where deer hunters dump carcasses just off N.C. Highway 87 near the Lee-Harnett County line.

McNeill was found not guilty of first-degree rape of a child, but guilty of first-degree kidnapping, human trafficking with a child victim, sexual servitude with a child victim, sexual offense of a child and indecent liberties with a child charges.

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