Texas teen sentenced to 38 years for murdering Iraqi immigrant

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Man Sentenced to 38 Years in Jail for Iraqi Immigrant Murder

DALLAS, May 24 (Reuters) - A Dallas jury sentenced a teenager to 38 years in prison on Tuesday for murdering an Iraqi immigrant as he took family pictures while experiencing snow for the first time.

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Nykerion Nealon, 19, was convicted on Monday of fatally shooting Ahmed al-Jumaili, 36, in March 2015 in the parking lot of his apartment complex.

Al-Jumaili had only been in the United States for about three weeks and authorities had thought the case might have been a hate crime. They later determined Nealon did not know al-Jumaili's ethnicity and said he may have been trying to retaliate for a shooting at his girlfriend's apartment.

Reactions to the case on social media:

Social media reactions to Texas teen's sentencing for killing Iraqi immigrant
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Texas teen sentenced to 38 years for murdering Iraqi immigrant
Punishment phase of Nykerion Nealon's murder trial to begin in a few minutes #wfaa https://t.co/0SXZMlDMbh
Family of Ahmed Al-Jumaili speaks after jury finds 18yo Nykerion Nealon GUILTY in murder of Iraqi refugee #wfaa https://t.co/GvjHNDqYgI
emotional testimony in murder of Iraqi refugee Ahmed Al-Jumaili - Nykerion Nealon 18-charged w/Mar 2015 murder https://t.co/i6CXk4GSXO
Detectives say random attack against iraqi Ahmed Al-Jumaili, by 17 year old Nykerion Nealon, while looking at snow with family how evil RIP
@ d90272 @PaulCusumano @ImLoveStoned2 @FLOTUS this is a true terrorist... Nykerion Nealon #LivesMatter http://t.co/6oYKzYrtQF

Prosecutors said Nealon, who was 17 years old at the time, fired 14 rounds from an AK-47, striking al-Jumaili, who was in the snow with members of his family, once in the chest.

Al-Jumaili ran to his apartment and collapsed. He was pronounced dead at a hospital.

"Coming to this country for a new start, only to have it stripped away from them in such a horrible fashion, has been unimaginable," Alia Salem, executive director of the local branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a Muslim advocacy group, told reporters after the guilty verdict.

Nealon faced up to 99 years in prison and was sentenced by the same jury that convicted him. A lawyer for Nealon was not immediately available for comment. (Reporting by Lisa Maria Garza; Writing by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by Bill Trott)

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