Jury selection began Tuesday in a first-degree murder trial tied to a bizarre shooting case that started with the groping of a woman whose body had been painted to look like a zebra.
Former basketball player Avery Tyler of Omaha stands accused of first-degree murder in the Sept. 3, 2012, shooting outside the Halo Ultra Lounge near 175th Street and West Center Road.
Prosecutors allege that Tyler, 25, and Delayno Wright, 24, got into an argument after one of Tyler's friends touched or groped the buttocks of Wright's girlfriend, who had been wearing body paint to make her look like a zebra.
The two groups exchanged swear words and a couple of shoves.
Prosecutors allege that Tyler went to his car, got a gun and fired several times in Wright's direction. Wright was shot in the back, and his friends took him to Lakeside Hospital.
Another woman, painted as a peacock, showed up at Lakeside — only to find out that Wright had been transferred to the Nebraska Medical Center, where he died.
The trial before Douglas County District Judge Duane Dougherty is expected to last into next week.
If convicted, Tyler faces a life sentence.
The former Omaha Central and Omaha Bryan basketball player was a standout student and basketball player at Bellevue University. He has a business degree and a master's degree in management from the college.
Friends described Wright as laid-back and affable. Wright, who worked at an O'Reilly's Auto Parts store, was “the guy everybody got along with,” a friend said.
Wright is survived by his father, Dino “Tracy” Wright, his mother, Barbara Reed, and five siblings.