DALLAS -- A North Texas jury has found the 22-year-old son of former NBA player Nick Van Exel guilty of murder in the shooting death of a longtime friend.
A Dallas County jury deliberated about 2½ hours before returning its guilty verdict Thursday against Nickey Maxwell Van Exel. The penalty phase begins Friday.
Prosecutors had sought a capital murder conviction. They say Van Exel fatally shot Bradley Bassey Eyo in December 2010 and dumped his body at Lake Ray Hubbard on the eastern outskirts of Dallas.
Van Exel's attorney had said the two were playing with a shotgun at Van Exel's Garland home, and that Van Exel didn't know the gun was loaded.
His father played 13 seasons in the NBA and is now a player development instructor for the Atlanta Hawks.