Victim's mother breaks down in tears during murder trial testimo - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Victim's mother breaks down in tears during murder trial testimony

Latrise Mass testifies. (Source: KLTV Staff) Latrise Mass testifies. (Source: KLTV Staff)
TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Testimony has wrapped in the punishment phase for a convicted murderer. Wednesday, the jury found Ricky Neal Jr. guilty of fatally shooting 23-year old Christopher Mass.

Mass was shot and killed outside of the Broadway Square Mall in February of 2013.

Tuesday, Mass' mother, Latrise Mass, took the stand and broke down in tears. She told the jury her son's death destroyed their family

"When he died that day, a part of all of us died that day," Latrise Mass said.

Latrise testified that the morning of the shooting, she was driving by the mall with her daughter. She said, just moments earlier she'd been on the phone with Chris.

"We turned on Broadway and heard the pops of gunshots and I looked at my daughter and she said, 'Mama, no. It's too early,' so we just kept going because I thought it was the truck in front of us," recalled Latrise.

Soon people were calling Latrise to get to the scene at the mall.

"They told me what I already knew because I saw his car and knew nobody was with him," explained Latrise.

Mass was also a big brother and father. His first son was born on Father's Day four months after his death. Latrise testified that Mass' daughter constantly asks to bring her father back.

"She thinks a magic wand will bring him back because she says, 'G-G, will you bring me a magic wand so I can bring my daddy back?'" testified Latrise.

In court, prosecutors presented evidence of Neal' tattoos, saying their symbols and writings were gang-related. One tattoo reads, "Blood ties." A Tyler Police gang expert testified that the Bloods are a known gang in Tyler.

The defense brought out testimony that Tyler Police do not have record of Neal being affiliated with a local gang, but ultimately it's the crime that the state asked the jury to take into account.

"I'm going to proudly ask that you give [Neal] exactly what he gave everyone else involved in this thing. There is nothing else that he deserves. Nothing else than a life sentence," said prosecutor Jeff Wood.

The defense is asking for a sentence of 20 years or less.

The jury must unanimously choose a sentence between 5 and 99 years or life in prison. The jury will be handed the case to make their decision on Tuesday.

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