New Details Revealed in Murder of Garner Teenager

Tim Nelson, Eyewitness News 11.com (Durham), Jan. 4

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There are new details in the murder of a 15-year-old Garner girl. The crime stunned the community, but as Amanda Maynard’s family prepares for her visitation, shocking new details about the crime and the suspect are emerging.

Eyewitness News has uncovered search warrants returned to the Wake County Courthouse. According to police records, the suspect’s mother actually made the 911 call that led police to Amanda’s body. Police say the suspect himself, 19-year-old Kenneth O’Neal, confessed that he killed Amanda and then returned to a party at a house just up the road where he played the piano and told jokes.

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Mandy Locke and David Bracken, News and Observer (Raleigh), Jan. 3

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A neighbor, Kenneth R. O’Neal Jr., 19, has been charged with sexually assaulting and murdering Maynard early Saturday at her home along the quiet cul-de-sac of Madrid Court.

Edrington said that she and her daughter had seen O’Neal on several occasions but that her daughter had always kept her distance.

“He looked spooky to us,” she said. “She totally distanced herself from that type of person.”

Police say Maynard and O’Neal knew each other casually. Michael Richardson, who lives in the bottom part of O’Neal’s duplex, said he saw Maynard chatting with O’Neal a few times out in their yard.

Neighbors say they have long been wary of O’Neal, an imposing figure who dressed in black and stood alone in driveways.

Richardson said he shepherded his two small children inside whenever he noticed the young man lingering in the yard.

Down the street, Pam Torrence and her children just tried to not make eye contact with him.

“He was one strange fellow,” Richardson said as he loaded his family in their minivan Sunday.

Still, neighbors said, wearing a black overcoat and boots with metal spikes is not a crime. Neither is standing guard at the edge of a driveway in the dark of night.

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