Trial for accused Tyler mall shooter set to begin Tuesday - | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Trial for accused Tyler mall shooter set to begin Tuesday


The trial for an East Texas man, accused of murdering another man outside a Tyler mall in February 2013, is set to begin Tuesday morning.

26-year-old Ricky Neal Jr. is charged with murder and aggravated assault in the 2013 incident that left a Chapel Hill man dead in the mall’s parking lot.

During a hearing on Monday, Judge Kerry Russell said he expects the prosecution to need at least three days to present its case, before turning it over the Neal’s defense.

This follows months of delays in the trial, as Neal went through a series of hiring and then parting ways with various attorneys, causing him to miss multiple trial deadlines set by Judge Russell.

Neal’s aggravated assault charge stems from an incident police say began inside the Broadway Square Mall. According to an arrest affidavit, Neal and another man entered into an argument inside the mall over comments made on the social media website Twitter. Investigators said that fight eventually re-ignited in the parking lot, resulting in Neal shooting at, but missing another man.

However, during that same confrontation in the mall parking lot, police say Neal shot Christopher Mass of Chapel Hill, then 23-years-old, two times, resulting in his death.

The trial is set to begin at 8:30 A.M. on Tuesday, but is expected to last at least a couple of weeks.

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