Plea bargain not an option for accused Tyler mall shooter

Plea bargain not an option for accused Tyler mall shooter

TYLER (KYTX) -- A pre-trial hearing was held in the Smith County 7th District Court Monday for 25-year-old Ricky Neal, Jr. Neal is charged with murder and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon in the February 2013 shooting death of 23-year-old Christopher Mass in the parking lot of the Broadway Square Mall.

The prosecution announced it will not extend a plea bargain to Neal, meaning the case will go to trial. That trial date is tentatively scheduled for October 7th at 9am.

Several people left the courtroom in tears following the announcement.

After the hearing, several of Mass's family members told CBS 19 they were upset by the proposed date because it would have marked Mass's 24th birthday.

However, given the number of cases on the 7th District docket, it is highly unlikely that the trial will actually begin on that date.

Neal could face up to life in prison. He's being held in the Smith County jail until his trial.


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