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Opening statements delayed in McNeill murder trial

FAYETTEVILLE (AP) — Opening statements could be delayed up to a week in the trial of a man accused of raping and killing a 5-year-old Fayetteville girl.

The trial of 32-year-old Mario McNeill was delayed in Cumberland County court on Monday after he was ordered to undergo a mental evaluation to determine if he is capable of assisting in his defense.

Superior Court Judge Jim Ammons told jurors not to come back until next Monday.

McNeill is accused of the 2009 death of Shaniya Davis. He could face a death sentence if convicted.

The jury of eight women and four men was seated Thursday. Three of the four jury alternates are women.

Shaniya’s mother faces charges that she sold her daughter to pay a drug debt. Antoinette Davis has not been tried yet.

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