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Son of former NBA player Nick Van Exel convicted of murder

Feb 1, 2013, 10:16 AM EDT

Nick Van Exel looks on Getty Images

This is just sad.

It took a Dallas jury just two-and-a-half hours Thursday to convict Nickey Van Exel of murder, reports the Associated Press. He is the son of former NBA player and current Atlanta Hawks player development instructor Nick Van Exel.

The penalty phase of the trial will begin soon. Prosecutors are treating this as a capital case.

The younger Van Exel shot his long-time friend Bradley Bassey Eyo with a shotgun. The two had been friends for about a dozen years, having played basketball together and lived basically across the street from one another.

Van Exel’s attorney’s had argued the two were just playing around — “horseplay” he called it — and said Van Exel didn’t know the gun was loaded and this was accidental. The jury looked at Van Exel’s actions and didn’t see it that way: He wrapped Eyo’s body, took it downstairs to the garage and put it in the back of Van Exel’s SUV, dumped the body near a bridge in the city (minus his shoes, phones and jewelry) then went home and cleaned the blood out of his home and car. Finally he threw the shotgun in a local creek. Van Exel’s attorney said the later moves were just panic after he shot his friend.

Like I said, all of this is just sad.

  1. pellypell - Feb 1, 2013 at 10:40 AM

    “Don’t worry Mr. Eyo, we’re going to find who killed Bradley,”

    Nickey’s words to Bradley’s father one day after the murder. He also stole the kid’s Jordans as well. This wasn’t horseplay.

    • mogogo1 - Feb 1, 2013 at 11:32 AM

      Actually, it was Eyo’s mother. But the quote is accurate. Also, prosecutors thought the murder was to keep Eyo from implicating Van Excel in a string of burglaries the two had committed. (Eyo had been caught and was reportedly going to implicate his buddy to get a lesser sentence.)

      It’s awfully hard to convince a jury it was a tragic accident when you instantly resort to wrapping the body in plastic, dumping it, and eliminating evidence.

    • fanofevilempire - Feb 1, 2013 at 11:44 AM

      what happened to the Jordans ?

      • mogogo1 - Feb 1, 2013 at 11:51 AM

        They were never found. His phones (yes, plural) and some other items were never found, either.

  2. purnellmeagrejr - Feb 1, 2013 at 11:05 AM

    Not reallly sure there is anything to say about this mess.

    • troy10 - Feb 1, 2013 at 11:15 AM

      But yet you still had something to say…

    • fanofevilempire - Feb 1, 2013 at 11:45 AM

      the people who had the homes burglarized got justice.
      these two fellas were criminals.
      I won’t lose any sleep over this.

      • chicitybulls - Feb 1, 2013 at 11:56 AM

        So death is a just punishment for burgulary? A bit extreme dont you think? Maybe not to you. You strike me as THAT guy.

  3. dylude - Feb 1, 2013 at 11:25 AM

    If we expect people who make mistakes to come clean and still accept a penalty, then you have to punish those that cover up the “mistake” harshly.

    As a gun enthusiast, I don’t know how you’re mistaken if a SHOTGUN it loaded or not. Even automatic military shotguns don’t chamber rounds in a way you can’t see it easily. This wasn’t a double action handgun, it was a SHOTGUN.

    • fanofevilempire - Feb 1, 2013 at 11:47 AM

      man you spending too much time on this, two criminals were taken cared of.
      case closed.

  4. mazblast - Feb 1, 2013 at 11:48 AM

    I’ve been a fan of Nick Van Exel since his days at the University of Cincinnati. This is tragic for him and his wife, much more so for Bradley’s family.

    • cosanostra71 - Feb 1, 2013 at 12:18 PM

      NVE was one of my favorite Lakers and it’s unfortunate to hear this happened.

      • losangelesfan - Feb 1, 2013 at 2:59 PM

        I still have Nicky V’s Laker jersey. He was the best player the Lakers had after Magic retired. This is tragic news.

  5. jason9696 - Feb 1, 2013 at 12:36 PM

    If it was an accident. He should have called the police ASAP. But I don’t buy it for a New York second. Life without parole sounds about right to me.

  6. Chris Fiorentino - Feb 1, 2013 at 12:55 PM

    Too bad his name wasn’t Jason Williams. He might have gotten the benefit of the doubt.

  7. Very Real News - Feb 1, 2013 at 2:40 PM

    Burglaries? Wouldn’t being the son of Nick Van Exel make you a millionaire? What are you stealing from peoples’ homes when you come from money?

    Unbelievable. Stupidity always wins.

    • teamobijuan - Feb 1, 2013 at 3:09 PM

      Who’s to say NVE let him have a ton of money?

  8. dysraw1 - Feb 6, 2013 at 10:36 AM


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