The son of former NBA player and current Hawks instructor Nick Van Exel was found guilty of murder Thursday in North Texas.
Nickey Maxwell Van Exel, 22, was found guilty in the shooting death of Bradely Bassey Eyo, described as a longtime friend, by a Dallas County jury.
The elder Van Exel, who played 13 seasons in the NBA, is in his third year as the player development instructor for the Hawks. He has been away from the team for the past two days and testified at the penalty phase of the case, which began Friday.
The Hawks would not comment on the legal matter.
According to the Dallas Morning News, Nick Van Exel broke down while testifying Friday. The paper said Nick Van Exel gathered himself and apologized to the family of the 23-year-old Eyo.
“I’m really sorry to the Eyo family,” said Nick Van Exel according to the paper. “Nobody should have to go through something like this. Nobody.”
Prosecutors sought a capital murder conviction after they said Nickey Van Exel fatally shot Eyo and dumped his body at Lake Ray Hubbard, on the eastern outskirts of Dallas, in December, 2010.
Nickey Van Exel’s defense attorney said the two were playing with a shotgun at the defendant’s home and that he did not know the gun was loaded.
The jury returned a guilty verdict after just over two hours of deliberation. ___