McNeill won’t defend against death penalty for Shaniya Davis’ murder


32-year-old Mario McNeill (WTVD)

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FAYETTEVILLE, N.C.– Going against the advice of his legal team Tuesday, Mario McNeill will not present any evidence or call witnesses in the penalty phase of his trial, according to WTVD.

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

The jury will now be asked to decide if McNeill should get the death penalty or be sentenced to life in prison.

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.

Read more at WTVD

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