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More details in investigation of Nickey Van Exel for murder

Jan 3, 2011, 3:20 PM EDT

Nick Van Exel looks on Getty Images

Nickey Van Exel — the son of long-time veteran NBA point guard and current Hawks staff member Nick Van Exel — is currently out on bail, but more details on what happened the night he shot someone have been released and the story just continues to get more sad.

Nickey Van Exel and Bradley Bassey Eyo had been friends for about a dozen years, having played basketball together and lived basically across the street from one another. The Dallas Morning News picks up the details from there.

At about 1 a.m. Sunday, Eyo went across the street to visit Van Exel at his home in the 6900 block of George Brown Drive in Garland. Documents say that Van Exel aimed his parents’ shotgun at his friend’s chest and fired.

Van Exel wrapped Eyo’s body, dragged it downstairs into the garage and loaded it in the back of a 2001 Chevy SUV, detectives wrote in an arrest affidavit.

About 8:30 that same morning, a man called police to report a body near the park on Barnes Bridge Road in Dallas. The affidavit stated that Eyo’s body was missing a pair of Nike Air Jordan shoes, two cellphones and jewelry.

After dumping Eyo’s body, Van Exel went back to his home and cleaned the blood from the bedroom and the SUV, detectives wrote in the affidavit. He then drove to the 9600 block of Forest Lane in northwest Dallas and threw the shotgun in a creek, police said. Dallas police are still trying to find the weapon.

Three days later Nickey Van Exel, accompanied by his attorney, turned himself in to Dallas police. He made $25,000 bail the next day. Van Exel has been charged with murder, although that could be dropped to manslaughter.

Paul Johnson, Van Exel’s attorney, told The Associated Press that his client told police he shot Eyo while the two were engaged in horseplay.

After the shooting, Van Exel panicked and moved the body, Johnson said.
“It’s a real sad situation,” Johnson said. “Emotions are running high, and, obviously, we recognize that some very bad decisions were made on how he responded.”

As you might imagine, the father of the deceased is not thrilled about the idea of a reduced charge.

“If it was accidental, he wouldn’t have gone to dump his body at the lake. He could’ve called 911,” Oyo Eyo said. “I don’t know what transpired in the house. Maybe it was premeditated, I don’t know, but how can he point a shotgun at his friend?”

It’s all just sad.

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