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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.

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