Jury controversy in Shaniya Davis murder trial


A dismissed juror said that she and other jurors saw McNeill's plea rejection through various media outlets and discussed it among themselves.

Now, the seven seated jurors will be called back in for questioning sometime this week.

Jury selection got underway Monday morning, but no jurors were seated until Wednesday.

Mario McNeill faces first-degree murder, first-degree rape of a child, 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 related to Shaniya Davis' death. He could face the death penalty if convicted.

Shaniya was given up by her mother, Antoinette Davis, to allegedly settle a drug debt. Authorities said the girl was raped and murdered and then dumped just off Highway 87 near the Lee-Harnett county line.

Jury selection is expected to last two to three weeks. About 15 or 16 jurors are slated to be selected, with three alternates.

The trial is expected to last six to eight weeks.

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