Father of slain child upset mother released on bond

Shaniya Davis' father Brad Lockhart at vigil
February 25, 2010 8:40:37 PM PST
The mother of Shaniya Davis is out of jail after someone helped her make bond. Shaniya Davis disappeared from her Fayetteville home on November 10, and her body was found days later in a wooded area just south of Sanford.

According to court documents, 29-year-old Mario McNeill killed the 5-year-old girl the same day she was reported missing. He is charged with first-degree murder, first-degree rape and kidnapping.

Shaniya's mother, 25-year-old Antoinette Davis, is charged with human trafficking and child abuse involving prostitution.

Investigators suspect McNeill was given the child to pay for a drug debt.

Davis had been held at Central State Prison in Raleigh, but a Department of Correction spokesperson said she was released on a $51,000 bond and was transferred back to Cumberland County by deputies Sunday.

Sources say the money for bail was put up by a private bondsman.

Shaniya's father, Bradley Lockhart, says he is angry about her release.

"I'm pretty much speechless," he said. "I'm angry at the way this whole thing has preceded. I am angry that she is out, angry I have to keep reliving this."

Lockhart says he thinks Antoinette Davis should have remained behind bars, where she's been since her arrest last November. He says Davis shares the blame for Shaniya's death.

"At the beginning of all this I said justice and God would be the judge, and I see the justice system has kind of let us down," Lockhart said.

He also vehemently denies rumors he helped pay for Davis' bail.

"That rumor is absolutely not true," he said. "I'm still paying for Shaniya's headstone, just like there was rumors that there was thousands of dollars put out there for Shaniya's case, most of that was footed by me."

Davis' lawyer and the private bondsman who put up her bond aren't saying where the money came from.

ABC11 Eyewitness News tried to contact Antoinette Davis, but relatives say she is in seclusion, and on the advice of her attorney is not talking.

Davis' next court appearance is in early April.

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