The man convicted in the 2016 shooting death of Calgary Stampeder Mylan Hicks was sentenced by a judge on Wednesday to life in prison with no chance of parole for 18 years.

Nelson Lugela, 21, was found guilty of second-degree murder by a judge in March.

Hicks, 23, died in hospital after he was shot outside the Marquee Beer Market on September 25, 2016.

Hicks was a defensive back on the Stampeders’ practice roster.

During the trial court heard that the team was at the nightclub celebrating a win and that an argument over a spilled drink escalated into an altercation in the parking lot.

Hicks’ mother, Renee Hill travelled to Calgary from Detroit a number of times during the trial and read a victim impact statement at the sentencing hearing.

She said it was a relief to face her son’s killer.

“I took some weight off me to let Lugela know personally, face to face, you robbed me, you robbed my son," said Hill. "Though it might mean nothing to him now I’m sure in my heart and in my mind I know that eventually something I said will penetrate later."

"Part of me died yet I live, I live to tell my son’s story.”

In his decision, Justice Keith Yamauchi said Lugela showed no remorse, gave no explanation or took any responsibility for his actions.

He said Hicks was unarmed, a total stranger and was trying to escape when he was gunned down.

He also referenced Lugela’s criminal record and extensive history of violence.

Court heard the judge took mental health into consideration, citing results from a number of psychiatric assessment reports, many saying Lugela only has a mild intellectual disability.

Yamauchi said Lugela’s age at the time also played a role in his decision. He was 19-years-old at the time of the shooting.

Hill was in court on Wednesday for sentencing and could be heard sobbing as the judge read how her son died.

A number of Lugela’s family members were also present for the decision.  

The Crown says the sentence is appropriate.

“It was a senseless killing in every sense of the way. Mr. Lugela, as Justice Yamauchi stated frankly today, is a dangerous person,” said Crown prosecutor Gord Haight.

Lugela was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 18 years.

(With files from Teri Fikowski)