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Shaniya Davis
2004 - November 16, 2009
I saw a movie once where the "good" guy made a statement to the "bad" mother he was talking to: "Mother is the name for God on the lips and hearts of all children". I'm not sure why this quote came to my mind when I started to make this page for Shaniya. I think it's because over and over lately I seem to be getting more and more stories from all over the world of children who people want to be added to my site. Today is June 2, 2010 and after taking a break, this is the first story I am adding and it's a tragic one. I wonder if Shaniya's mother considers herself to be God on the lips and heart of her daughter. I sincerely hope not, after what she did to her.

Seven days after her mother lied to authorities and said her daughter had gone missing, Shaniya's body was discovered among some trash and animal carcasses just seven miles from her home. It wasn't a stranger to her mother who had taken this beautiful little girl, raped her and killed her. It was BECAUSE of her mother that these things had happened to her.

Shaniya's father, Bradley Lockhart and her Aunt, Carey Lockhart, went on the Early Show to ask for the safe return of Shaniya:

"Drop her off at Wal-Mart, anywhere, I don't care – just so somebody can find her and bring her
back to the people that love her. She's a precious, little angel, full of joy. A little reserved when
you first meet her, but once she gets to know you, she just runs around, plays and won't 
leave you alone"
Bradley Lockhart 

"I just ask that, at this time, please just let her go. She doesn't deserve this. Have a kind heart"
Carey Lockhart-Davis

Shaniya had been living with Bradley and Carey until just a mother before when, convinced that Antoinette had worked hard and straightened out her life, Bradley let Shaniya go live with her mother. Antoinette had been
working for about six months and had rented a place to live:

"I should've never let her go over there. She had asked if she could be a mother, and I felt 
she was sincere in asking, and I figured to give her a chance"
Bradley Lockhart 

There was no way for Bradley to know that Antoinette was not sincere in saying that she wanted to be a mother to Shaniya and that she would sell her own daughter into sexual slavery. Police documentation states that Antoinette KNOWINGLY handed over Shaniya with the intent that she would be held in sexual servitude and that she allowed this child to be used as a prostitute.

But according to police Antoinette Davis had not gotten her life back together and sold her daughter into sexual slavery. Her arrest documents say that she "knowingly provided Shaniya Davis with the intent that she be held in sexual servitude" and she "permitted an act of prostitution."
 
The last time Shaniya was seen alive was on a video used for surveillance, in a hotel. Mario Andrette McNeill was seen on the video carrying her into the elevator. Mario had picked Shaniya up in front of her home and taken her to the hotel.

According to reports, this beautiful little girl had been sold, by her mother, into the sex slave trade. 

Antoinette Davis would later be charged with human trafficking and child prostitution.

Mario was being held and charged with first degree murder and the rape of a child and was being held without bond.

The cause of death after an autopsy was done, is listed as asphyxiation. 

In an interview, Bradley stated that Shaniya had been the result of a one night stand and that after a year, Antoinette had asked him to raise her and give her a more stable environment to live in. The agreement on custody had only been verbal and nothing was ever legally taken care of. Shaniya's Aunt had this to say in the same interview:

"I am disgusted, but yet in so much pain at this point. She was such a vibrant child and such an important part of my life. And it's hard at this point to understand why someone would take this sweet blessing away from me"
Carey Lockhart-Davis


    

      
 


OBITUARY:

FAYETTEVILLE - Miss Shaniya Nicole Davis, 5, of 7935 Lester Drive, passed away Monday, Nov. 16, 2009. Shaniya was a happy, loving and friendly little girl. She was a good little helper around the house. She loved to play dress up and do girly things like fixing hair and playing with her Barbie dolls. She loved playing outside and riding her scooter. Pink and yellow were her favorite colors. She was a kindergarten student at Morganton Road Elementary School. 

You came into our lives for a little while. You left footprints on our hearts, and we will never be the same! She leaves behind to cherish her memories her father, Bradley W. Lockhart of Fayetteville; her mother, Antoinette Davis of Fayetteville; paternal grandparents, William and Stephanie Raynor of Lexington Park, Md.; maternal grandparents, Carl and Priscilla Summers; maternal great-grandmother, Sarah Davis; maternal great-great-grandmother, Hunter Blue; four brothers, Byron Coleman of Charlotte, Alijah Fogle of Titusville, Fla., Chavez Lockhart and Joe Davis, both of Fayetteville; two sisters, Michele Coleman of Michigan and Cheyenne Lockhart of Fayetteville; two aunts, Brenda Davis and Sara Davis; four great-aunts, Patricia Davis, Leona Davis, Caroline Davis and Yvonne Mitchell; six great-uncles, Mike Davis, Levon Davis, Derrick Davis, Sylvester Davis, Larry Mitchell and Arthur Cromartie of Fayetteville; her second family, Tyrongella Davis and the Turner family of Raeford. She had a host of other cousins and relatives. 

The family will receive friends from 5 to 9 p.m. today, Nov. 21, 2009, at Rogers and Breece Funeral Home, 500 Ramsey St., Fayetteville. Funeral services will be conducted at 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 22, 2009, at Manna Church with the Rev. Johnny C. Davis officiating. She will be laid to rest at Fayetteville Memorial Cemetery. Pallbearers will be Mike Owens, Joseph Santiago, Byron Coleman and Chavez Lockhart. Honorary pallbearers will be Steve Gilliam, Joe McGee, Tony Eason and her kindergarten class at Morganton Road Elementary School. Memorial donations may be made to The Shaniya Davis Trust Fund, c/o Wachovia Bank, 4200 Morganton Road, Fayetteville, NC 28304. Services entrusted to Rogers and Breece Funeral Home, of Fayetteville.

UPDATE:

In May of 2013, Mario McNeill, who was 33 years old, was found guilty and sentenced to die for what he did to Shaniya Davis. A jury took eight hours to decide he was guilty just a few days before they took 40 minutes to decide he should be put to death. After the hearing was over, one juror said:

"We wouldn't have taken so long if we hadn't stopped to drink pop"

There were questions from people who had been following the trial, some asked why he didn't wear a suit to court, some asked why he didn't cut his hair before court. Mario had dread locks in his hair from the beginning and didn't dress all that wonderful to appear in court. The day of his sentence, he wore jeans and a green polo shirt with his hair up in what looked like a woman's bun hair do. I have seen many people over the years change their appearance to look better in court, this man just didn't seem to care. I don't think it would have done him any good to change what he wore or to cut his hair.

While I do not agree with the death penalty, if the only other option was to let him out at some point, the death penalty is better than that option. Mario's lawyers were unable to convince him to fight for his life after he said in court:

"My goal was freedom. I lost my freedom. It doesn't matter after that"

Senior Resident Superior Court Judge Jim Ammons said that court law indicates that Mario's lawyers have to abide by what he wants to happen, though he did question Mario thoroughly to make sure he didn't want any further evidence or other facts presented in his case that could save his life:

"It doesn't matter, really. I prefer them not to"

Shaniya's father broke down on the stand, saying:

"I guess whenever you talk about your kid, you think they're the best. It hurts to talk about her"
Bradley Lockhart

"It's hard. It's painful. Just to know that she was once here and somebody took her away. There's
not a day I don't think about her"
Cheyenne Lockhart - Shaniya's sister

Mario's mother wanted to testify and his lawyer, Terry Alford, wanted to her to testify, the judge gave Mario the final say and Mario said he did not want his mother to testify, Mario also didn't want Reverend Roy Birch or his half sister, Tinuana McNeill to testify. During the day, Mario could be seen smiling and as he had done throughout the trial, he was making origami cranes and had many of them on the table in front of him.

At one point, Judge Ammons told Mario that what he was trying to say was more important than origami, to which Mario replied that origami helps him to think:

"Lawyers tell me you don't want to participate. Can you tell me why"

Mario told the judge that he didn't want to tell him why. Judge Ammons asked him if he understood that though North Carolina had not put anyone to death in a long time, that didn't mean they didn't have the death penalty, that they do and it's a real thing and asked him if he understood to which Mario answered that he did understand. The judge also said:

"Because a judge recently reversed four death sentenced and made them life, doesn't mean
we don't
have the death penalty. Do you understand that there's a real possibility that the
 jury could sentence you
to death and that that sentence could be carried out"

Mario said he understood and when the judge asked him if he was not wanting to contest in any way, Mario said he did not want to contest.

Antoinette Davis was facing a trial of her own, though she would not face the death penalty.

Thank you to Fibi for sending me the update on this story.

UPDATE:

In October of 2013, Antoinette Nicole Davis, who was by then 29 years old, used the Alford plea to second degree murder, human trafficking, first degree kidnapping, first degree sex offense, felony child abuse with prostitution, child abuse involving a sex act, sexual servitude, indecent liberties with a child and conspiracy to commit sex offense of a child. With all of that, a person would think this woman would NEVER get out of prison, though a person would be mistaken. Antoinette was sentenced to between 210 and 261 months, that's about 17 to 21 years give or take a few months, not NEARLY enough for all that she put this beautiful little Angel through. Let's not forget that she was allowed to use the Alford plea which means she plead guilty to get a deal, but still CLAIMED her innocence. In the deal, a first degree rape charge was dismissed and now the state gets to save money by not having a trial. That's what's important, right?


Death occurred in the state of North Carolina

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