Man found guilty of killing Camilla teen - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Man found guilty of killing Camilla teen

October 21, 2003

Camilla - A Camilla murder trial ended around 5:30 Tuesday evening. A jury found Travis Mack guilty of killing a teenage father, Niko Neal. He was also convicted of armed robbery, aggravated assault, burglary and several false imprisonment counts.

Five-month old J'anasia LaShay Neal will never know her dad. The victim's aunt Beverly Keaton, says, "He got killed on a Friday and the baby came home on a Wednesday."

Nineteen-year-old Niko Neal was shot in the back and killed during a Camilla home invasion in June. Five people, including two juveniles, were arrested and charged with murder. Keaton has been through it all. She says,"It's been hard on me because I know what's been said and what hasn't been said, so it's been hard on me."

The two juveniles and Christopher Zanders pleaded guilty last week, making what the defense calls a "sweat heart deal" with prosecutors. Keaton adds, "I don't think it's fair because everybody had a part of it and are guilty, just as guilty as the one who pulled the trigger."

That left Travis Mack and Brenddon Dowels in the spotlight. Mack was convicted. Keaton adds, "It's been hard everyday, but we pray to god that we'll make it. And make the right decision to be made."

Dowels will go on trial at a later date. He was suppose to be tried with Mack, but his attorney was sick.

Keaton did admit having the three others who pleaded guilty may have helped convict Mack who took the little girl's dad away.

Mack was sentenced to two life sentences. The jury included eight black women and six white women, with alternates.

posted at 6:24PM by kathryn.simmons@walb.com

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