Nickey Van Exel, the son of former NBA player and current Atlanta Hawks assistant coach Nick Van Exel has been charged with capital murder. The charge follows an incident in 2010 where Nickey Van Exel is accused of using a shotgun to shoot a close friend at his home in Dallas, Texas. He claims he did not know that the gun was loaded.
Based on this, Van Exel was originally indicted on a manslaughter charge in 2011, but prosecutors have now moved to increase the charges to capital murder. The trial for murder started on Tuesday morning with the prosecution seeking to prove the death of Bradley Eyo at the hands of Exel was not an accident.
Van Exel and Eyo had committed a series of robberies in 2010 and Eyo was set to cooperate with police and implicate his partner in the robberies. It is this “snitching” that the prosecution believes drove Van Exel to murder. Despite claiming the shooting was an accident, Van Exel wrapped the body of Eyo and attempted to discard of it, while he also attempted to thoroughly clean his home in Garland, Dallas.
Prosecutor Elaine Evans opened by saying that Eyo “was going to do the right thing,” while she also went on to say that he was killed because he “was going to be a snitch.” The Defense attorney is claiming there was no motive for murder and that the shooting was an accident. If Van Exel is found guilty he will face life imprisonment.
Van Exel’s father Nick Van Exel played in the NBA for 13 years. During his career the point guard played with the San Antonio Spurs, Portland Trail Blazers, Golden State Warriors, Dallas Mavericks, Denver Nuggets and Los Angeles Lakers. He is now the assistant coach at the Atlanta Hawks.