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Defense rests in case of murdered Fayetteville girl

FAYETTEVILLE (AP) — Closing arguments will be presented next week in the trial of a Fayetteville man accused of raping and killing a 5-year-old girl more than three years ago.

Mario McNeill is charged with rape and murder in the death of 5-year-old Shaniya Davis in November 2009. After prosecutors finished presenting evidence on May 16, McNeill said he wouldn’t testify.

His attorneys rested without presenting any evidence.

Closing arguments will be held Tuesday morning in a Cumberland County courtroom. The 32-year-old McNeill could face the death penalty if convicted.

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

Investigators have said Shaniya’s mother, Antoinette Davis, gave her daughter to McNeill to pay off a drug debt. Prosecutors say they’ll try Davis after McNeill’s trial ends.


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