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Tyler mall shooter sentenced to additional prison time to run concurrently with life sentence

Tyler Police Department

POSTED: Monday, June 9, 2014 - 10:29am

UPDATED: Wednesday, June 11, 2014 - 5:35pm

Ricky Neal, Jr., who was sentenced to life in prison last month, accepted a plea deal on an additional charge Monday morning.

Neal pleaded guilty to aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and was sentenced by 7th Judicial District Court Judge Kerry L. Russell to five years in prison to run concurrently with his life sentence. The aggravated assault charge stemmed from Neal shooting at Jonathan Lamone Dews, 29, of Tyler, during the murder of Christopher Mass in the Broadway Square Mall parking lot.

Authorities say Neal and his girlfriend went to the mall to buy shoes at Champs on February 9. As they entered the mall, Neal noticed a group of men, one of which he had an issue with prior about "Tweeting" his girlfriend on the popular social media site, Twitter. A confrontation ensued between Neal and another man from the group inside the mall. The confrontation continued to the parking lot.

According to authorities, Neal then pulled out a gun and shot Mass multiple times, killing him. Mass was a former Chapel Hill High School football and basketball player. He attended Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, where he also played football. 

The convict was found guilty of murder on May 7 and sentenced to life in prison on May 13.

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