Two plead not guilty in Fayetteville child’s death

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Shaniya Nicole Davis (Facebook)

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FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (AP) — A Fayetteville woman charged with selling her 5-year-old daughter as a prostitute has pleaded not guilty in her death, as has the man charged with killing her.

Antoinette Davis and Mario Andrette McNeill entered their pleas Thursday in separate Cumberland County courtrooms. Both are charged with first-degree murder, rape of a child and other charges in the death of Shaniya Davis.

They are due back in Superior Court in April to set a trial date.

Prosecutors say Davis sold her daughter as a prostitute to pay a drug debt to McNeill on Nov. 10, 2009. The child’s body was found six days later off a road in Harnett County.

An autopsy determined that Shaniya died of asphyxiation and that injuries she suffered were consistent with a sexual assault.

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