TYLER — The trial for accused mall shooter Ricky Neal, Jr., has been postponed again due to the fact Neal still has not hired an attorney. Neal is charged with killing a 23-year-old, Chris Mass, outside the Broadway Square Mall in Tyler on February 9, 2013. KETK reports the trial was originally slated to begin August 5, 2013, but was first pushed back to October 7, after the district attorney’s office refused to accept Neal’s plea bargain.
When the trial officially begins, Smith County prosecutors will seek to prove Neal murdered Mass, a former Chapel Hill athlete and SFA football player, in the mall parking lot. The suspect is also charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon after police determined he shot at a second person, Jonathan Lamone Dews.
According to the Tyler Police Department, Neal and his girlfriend went to the mall the morning of the shooting to buy shoes at Champs. As they entered the mall, the alleged gunman noticed a group of men, one of whom he had a prior issue with about “tweeting” at his girlfriend. The two parties began to argue, and the incident spilled into the parking lot, where Neal pulled a gun and allegedly shot Mass dead, according to police. He was taken into custody by TPD when officers arrived at the scene. The next date for Neal to be in court is Monday, February 24.