Jury selection begins for trial in the 2014 Fairmount Park killing 


Wichita Police crime scene investigators study the scene where Letitia Davis, 36, was found in a fire Nov. 14 at Fairmount Park.

After almost a decade of delays, jury selections began Wednesday for the trial in the 2014 murder of Latitia Davis in Fairmount Park.

Cornell McNeal, 34, faces capital murder and rape charges for the brutal death of Davis in the park just a block south of Wichita State’s main campus. He originally was charged with two counts of arson as well; however, these were dropped. 

McNeal has pleaded not guilty to these charges.

On Nov. 14 of 2014, Davis, a mother of four, was walking through Fairmount Park when she encountered a stranger who beat, sexually assaulted and set her on fire.

A neighbor reported hearing screams, and after going to check, found Davis and a small fire.

After being hospitalized, Davis gave the Wichita Police a description of the man who attacked her.

Cornell A. McNeal was arrested six days after the attack based on evidence gathered at the scene of the crime, including a damaged Keyocera phone, as well as DNA evidence taken from a sexual assault evidence collection kit.

Two days after the arrest and eight days after the attack, Davis died. An autopsy determined her manner of death to be a homicide.

On Nov. 26, McNeal was charged with capital murder. In addition, he has also been charged with rape. 

McNeal’s trial was originally set for November of 2015 but was stalled after competency questions were raised.

Now, the jury is being selected for McNeal’s trial. According to KSN, court officials believe the jury selection in the case could last for two days.