The son of former Lakers guard Nick Van Exel was sentenced to 60 years in prison Friday for the shooting death of his best friend.
Nickey Maxwell Van Exel, 22, was charged with capital murder for killing his longtime friend Bradley Eyo in 2010.
By his own admission, Nickey said he shot Eyo with 12-gauge shot gun in his Garland home, put the body in garbage bags, and dumped it in Lake Ray Hubbard. He claimed that the shooting was an accident and that he did not realize the weapon was loaded.
Prosecutors, however, said Van Exel killed his friend to stop him from “snitching” about robberies they committed together in Houston earlier that year.
“Snitches get stitches,” prosecutor Elaine Evans said in closing arguments Thursday. “In this case, [Eyo’s] dead.”
NBCDFW reports a Dallas County jury took less than three hours Friday to recommend the sentence, which also includes a $10,000.
During the trial, Van Exel’s father, a former NBA All-Star who played for six teams over his 13-year career, took the stand and talked about his son’s friendship with Eyo.
He also reportedly broke down while apologizing to Eyo’s family.
Nick Van Exel said:
“I’m really sorry to the Eyo family, I really am. Nobody should have to go through something like this; nobody.”
“As many times as I can say ‘I’m sorry’ to you guys — I know Nick and I talked to him after that; I really, really honestly in my heart think it was an accident,” he added.
Fox DFW has more on Nickey Van Exel’s murder sentencing in the video below: