Jury deliberating on sentence for mall shooter - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Jury deliberating on sentence for mall shooter

Jury deliberating sentence for mall shooter. Jury deliberating sentence for mall shooter.

Judge ruled no "sudden passion" provision will be included in the jury charge.

Judge told the jury that the punishment for murder should be confined to 5-99 years or life and a fine not to exceed $10,000.

He also told the jury that the defendant could be eligible in the future for good conduct time.

Neal must serve half of his sentence or 30 years, whichever is less, before he is eligible for parole.

The jury's verdict must be unanimous.


"We are asking for life in this case. Mr. Neal deserves nothing less."

The prosecutor told the jury that parole and good conduct time are issues in this case. He told the jury that the defense will tell them that because Mr. Neal has children, they should give him 20 years. However, he'd be eligible for parole in half of that time, so they should give him life. "He took a life. He pumped three rounds into Chris Mass and then one for good measure at Jonathon Dews. Ladies and gentlemen, send a message. Life is what Mr. Neal deserves."


The defense thanked the jury for their service. He explained that parole eligibility does not mean that a defendant will automatically be granted parole. He said he wondered what the jury's theory of the case was. "We don't know how you got to the verdict, but we respect your verdict," said Davidson. He told them that they learned about Neal as a person and father through the witnesses the defense presented. "He loves his kids and he's a good father. He's a young mans and his kids need a father," said Davidson.

"This whole case didn't happen in a vacuum. I think 20 is a fair number when you look at the totality of the events," he said.


"Now is your time," said ADA Woods. "Mr. Davidson wants you to believe that Neal deserves a second chance," he said. He told the jury that the choices Neal's made in his life do not prove that he deserves a second chance. He said Neal is a walking billboard that advertises blood, violence an death. "Ricky Neal hasn't changed," Woods said.

He said 20 is an important number because for 20 minutes Chris Mass struggled to survive and drowned in his own blood on the pavement of the JC Penny parking lot. He said Neal made his bed, so they shouldn't feel sorry for him.

Several members of the audience broke down in tears as the prosecutor explained how Mass' children and family will never see him again.

He told the jury that a life sentence will send a message to the entire community that we will not tolerate that type of action and that Mass' life meant something. "Don't accept anything less than he deserves, which is a life sentence," Woods said.

The charge has been given to the jury.

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