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Pizza delivery driver sentenced to 50 years for murder of boss

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Alireza Nikmanesh, 42, of Dallas, was sentenced to 50 years in prison for the shooting murder of his boss Kevin Murray, announced Collin County Criminal District Attorney Greg Willis.

"Mr. Murray was widely loved and respected, and our hearts go out to his loved ones and colleagues.  The jury held his murderer accountable," added Willis.

Trial testimony revealed that Nikmanesh was a delivery driver for Pizza Hut in Plano. Several coworkers testified that they had altercations with Nikmanesh in the months leading up to the murder. The victim, Kevin Murray, an area manager for the pizzeria, talked with Nikmanesh on several occasions and attempted to find a good fit for him within the company.  On Oct. 26, 2014, Nikmanesh instigated another disturbance at work, which led to the decision to terminate him. Murray arranged to meet Nikmanesh on Oct. 30.

On that day, Murray, along with another manager, met with Nikmanesh at the Subway restaurant on Parker and Custer in Plano. They told him he could no longer work for Pizza Hut. As Nikmanesh began to leave, Murray followed him outside to give him his final paycheck. Nikmanesh refused to take it, and Murray turned to walk away.

Once Murray's back was turned, Nikmanesh pulled a gun out of his car and fired eleven shots at Murray, emptying the magazine. Murray was struck a total of ten times, the first seven in the back, and later died as a result. After shooting Murray, Nikmanesh sat down on the curb and told a witness that he did it because Murray "annoyed" him. Plano Police Detective Brian Pfahning investigated the case and interviewed Nikmanesh after his arrest.

The jury found Nikmanesh guilty of murder. During the punishment phase of the trial, coworkers described Murray as a respectful and friendly boss who loved his job and cared about employees.   The jury sentenced Nikmanesh to 50 years in prison just after midnight Saturday morning.

Assistant Criminal District Attorneys Lisa King and Ashley Keil prosecuted the case and were assisted by District Attorney Investigator Kenny Newton. Judge Ben Smith presided.