Accused mall shooter makes new court appearance ahead of trial - KLTV.com-Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

Accused mall shooter makes new court appearance ahead of trial

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Ricky Neal Jr. sits in court during his hearing on Friday morning. Ricky Neal Jr. sits in court during his hearing on Friday morning.
Ricky Neal Jr. (Source: Smith County Jail) Ricky Neal Jr. (Source: Smith County Jail)
TYLER, TX (KLTV) - The East Texas man accused of fatally shooting another man outside of the Tyler mall was in court Friday, just a few weeks before his trial is to begin.

Ricky Neal Jr. appeared before Judge Kerry Russell, where Neal's attorney, Buck Files, was granted a request to withdraw as his attorney for the trial. Files' request to withdraw happened behind closed doors after an ex parte request was granted to the defendant and his attorney. The decision of Files and Neal to part ways was a mutual one and prosecutors did not object. Neal's family also says they support the parting.

Neal is charged with murder and aggravated assault after police say he shot and killed Chris Mass, a Chapel Hill High School graduate, outside of Broadway Square Mall in February 2013. Police also allege that Neal fired shots at another man, Jonathon Dews, as he ran.

Russell advised Neal to retain a new attorney before his trial, which is set to begin on February 17.

Neal is being held on bonds totaling $1.25 million.

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