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Nick Van Exel’s son confesses to murder

Dec 30, 2010, 3:55 PM EDT

Nick Van Exel looks on Getty Images

Some stories are just sad. On every possible level.

The son of former NBA fan favorite Nick Van Exel has confessed to murder.

Nickey Maxwell Van Exel was arrested Wednesday night and jailed on $1 million bond in the death of Bradley Bassey Eyo, 23. Police said Eyo was found on Sunday with a gunshot wound to his upper body near Lake Ray Hubbard, on the outskirts of Dallas.

Authorities later determined that Eyo was killed at a home in the Dallas suburb of Garland and that his body was dumped near the lake, police said.

Paul Johnson the younger Van Exel’s attorney, told The Associated Press that his client told police he shot Eyo, a longtime friend and neighbor, while the two were engaged in “horseplay” with a shotgun. He said Van Exel didn’t know the gun, which belonged to his stepfather, was loaded.

After the shooting, Van Exel “panicked” and moved the body, Johnson said. Van Exel also tossed the gun in a creek, and it has yet to be found, he said.

The elder Van Exel, 39, played a season and a half for the Mavericks during his 13-year NBA career where his explosive and aggressive style of play made him a favorite of fans. Van Exel started as a player development instructor with the Atlanta Hawks this season (trying to impart a little of his game on Jeff Teague).

  1. jarrod600 - Dec 30, 2010 at 9:19 PM

    Um, I’m no lawyer, but isn’t that “Manslaughter” not murder? According to your story, he confessed that he accidently shot his friend. Murder is when you kill someone on purpose. Again, not a lawyer, but you could always go ask Florio…

    • frankvzappa - Dec 30, 2010 at 11:13 PM

      lets keep Florio, and his horse, out of here

    • Kurt Helin - Dec 30, 2010 at 11:40 PM

      He has been charged with murder now. That may well get pled down to manslaughter, but as of now the charge is murder (moving the body post shooting probably not helping his cause there).

      • jpeetey - Dec 31, 2010 at 12:34 AM

        What he’s been charged with and what he’s confessed to are, of course, two different things. Nothing in the article to which the writer links supports a claim that he’s confessed to murder.

  2. clsr67 - Dec 31, 2010 at 1:44 PM

    It was not a confession it was an admission. A confession is when you tell police that you committed the crime. An admission is when you tell the police that you committed a particular act which may meet one of the elements of the crime. He admitted to the shooting that is all. It should be involuntary manslaughter at the most without some further evidence of his intent (DA will say he tried to hide the evidence because he knew he was guilty and invented the story later). The issue may center on whether he had reason to know the gun was loaded or failed to take precautions or had reason to believe the gun was unloaded. His lawyer will hope that a lot of people (on the jury)have seen the video on youtube showing a DEA agent bragging about how only a trained professional can handle a gun and then shooting himself in the foot to show how anyone, even a professional can make a mistake like that. It it was simply an accident, not arising to criminal negligence, then it will be a complete defense.

  3. jrd8523 - Feb 19, 2013 at 10:42 PM

    Like the previous poster alluded to; just because he admitted to involvement doesn’t mean his recap of the events is true. The “I accidently killed someone while horseplaying with a shotgun, than disposed of the body and the evidence, and now that i’m cornered i’m sorry” defense should be heavily scrutinized.

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