Accused Tyler mall shooter back in court on Monday - | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Accused Tyler mall shooter back in court on Monday

Ricky Neal Jr. (Source: Smith County Jail) Ricky Neal Jr. (Source: Smith County Jail)

An East Texas man, accused of shooting and killing another man outside a Tyler mall, was back in court on Monday.

Ricky Neal, Jr., 26, is charged with murder and aggravated assault, after a fight turned deadly at Tyler’s Broadway Square Mall in February 2013.

Neal has made a number of court appearances since December, when the trial was initially set to begin. In his most recent hearing at the end of January, he parted ways with his attorney, Buck Files.

At that hearing, the judge advised Neal he would need a new attorney in time for Monday’s court date.

On Monday morning, Neal had not yet hired an attorney, so he will be appointed one by the court. His next hearing will be on February 24.

Neal is accused of shooting and killing the then 23-year-old Chapel Hill High School graduate Christopher Mass outside the mall on February 9, 2013.

Police say Neal shot mass twice, as well as shot at and missed another man, Jonathon Dews.

Interviews conducted by police indicate Neal reportedly got into an argument inside the Tyler mall with Dews about comments made about a woman on Twitter. Shortly after, Neal went back outside, where the confrontation continued.

Neal said he reached into his car for his gun after he believed he saw Mass reaching into his own car for a weapon. However, in interviews conducted by police, Neal reportedly acknowledged he never made visual confirmation of Mass having a weapon.

Neal is being held on bonds totaling $1.25 million.

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