WASHINGTON (AA) - A U.S. man was sentenced to 38 years behind bars on Tuesday for fatally shooting a recently arrived Iraqi immigrant.
Nykerion Nealon, 18, was convicted of shooting Ahmed al-Jumaili, 36, in March 2015. Al-Jumaili was outside of his Dallas apartment with his wife and brother taking pictures of his first snowfall when he was shot that night.
He had arrived in Texas just three weeks prior to reunite with his wife who earlier fled violence in their native Iraq.
Nealon's lawyer reportedly argued that while he was present at the time of the murder, he was not the one who pulled the trigger. But during testimony, one of Nealon's friends said he was present when the shot was fired and that Nealon was the one who shot al-Jumaili.
Prosecutors reportedly said during the trial that shortly after the shooting occurred, Nealon searched online for how to survive prison and how to beat a murder charge.
Police said during the trial that they did not believe Nealon knew al-Jumaili, and that Nealon told officers he was hunting for people he thought had shot at his girlfriend's apartment complex that night.
Nealon was 17 at the time of the murder.
He faced up to life in prison after being convicted on Monday, but a jury handed down the 38-year sentence after two hours of deliberations.