DALLAS - A Dallas County jury convicted a Dallas man of murdering an Iraqi immigrant who outside enjoying snow for the first time.
Dallas County Prosecutor Justin Lord described Nykerion Nealon as a "gun fanatic" who knew all about AK-47s. The 18-year-old allegedly fired 14 rounds at the Walnut Bend Apartment in north east Dallas. One of the rounds pierced Ahmen Al-jumaili's heart as he and his newlywed wife played and took pictures in the first snow he'd ever seen in the one month he'd been in America.
“This case is pretty straight forward and pretty simple,” said Lord. “We all know the truth! We all know who pulled the trigger and shot the gun. There was no question about that."
A secret service agent testified about internet searches made on Nealon’s phone that included phrases like “How to beat a murder case in Texas” and “How to wipe memory from a cellphone.”
Nealon’s attorney, Russell Wilson, argued he was wrongfully accused. He says Dallas police did a sloppy job investigating the murder scene and only arrested his client when video showed four men in a nearby school surveillance video.
"Well they say he searched how to get away with murder,” Wilson said. “Do you think that that internet search said, ‘leave your basketball game, go talk to the police and tell them what happened?’ Do you believe that's what came up on the search? No, absolutely not!"”
The family believes justice has already been served with a quick guilty verdict of murder.
Al-jumaili's wife testified how she was terrified after the shooting, thinking someone would kill her whole family.
Other relatives found it too difficult to discuss.
"Coming to this country for a new start, only to have it stripped away from them in such a horrible fashion has been unimaginable,” said Alia Salem with the Council on American-Islamic Relations. “And the pain they have had to go through, although they are very strong, has been very difficult."
Nealon testified during his punishment phase. He admitted he has disappointed everyone in his family and had a message for the victim's family.
"It hurts me to know that I can cause someone that much pain and, first, may God be with you and your family and God be with Mr. Al-jumaili,” the 18-year-old said. “I want to say I'm sorry, but I'm not the one that pulled the trigger."
The jury will decide Nealon’s fate first thing Tuesday morning. He faces anywhere from 5 to 99 years or life in prison.