TYLER, TX (KLTV) -
Ricky Neal, Jr. was sentenced to life in prison on Tuesday for his role in a fatal shooting at Broadway Square Mall in February 2013.
A Smith County jury deliberated for one hour and twenty minutes before handing down the sentence. The judge told the jury that the punishment for murder should be five to 99 years in prison or life.
Neal must serve 30 years of his sentence before becoming eligible for parole.
On May 7, a jury found Neal guilty of murder in the death of 23-year-old Christopher Mass.
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 Mass two times, resulting in his death.
Neal is also facing an aggravated assault charge. His trial for that charge is set to begin on Monday, June 9 at 9 a.m.