Cardell Hayes, 29, was found guilty of manslaughter in the death of former New Orleans Saints player Will Smith, as well as attempted manslaughter for shooting at Smith's wife, Racquel, on Sunday night as reported by The Washington Post.
Cardell Hayes was found guilty of manslaughter in the shooting death Smith, a conviction that mandates a 20-to 40-year prison term. The judge can sentence Hayes to serve them concurrently, but the prosecutor says the crimes are so serious that Hayes should serve the sentences one after the other, for a total of 60 years. He was found not guilty of the third count of criminal damage to property during the crash.
The defense lawyer for the man who shot New Orleans Saints star Will Smith has wrapped up a almost four-hour closing argument for the jury.
Hayes testified during the trial that he only fired his weapon after Smith pulled a gun from his vehicle.
- April 13: An attorney for Smith's family holds wide-ranging news conference during which he says Smith didn't brandish a gun during the altercation and had a concealed-carry permit. He was driving with his wife and another couple, who were traveling with a group of friends in several cars - when his Mercedes SUV may have lightly bumped Hayes' Hummer.
Smith and Hayes were both behind the wheel when they first crossed paths on April 9.
"Have you asked yourself what would happen if we treated this case the same, but the roles were reversed?"
A New Orleans courtroom was full Sunday night as the jury announced the verdict in the Will Smith murder case.
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A jury convicted the man charged with killing former pro-football player Will Smith.
Deuce McAllister, also a former Saints player, said outside the courthouse, "It's not a win for anybody".
Hayes' attorneys have said he was not the aggressor, but rather the victim of a hit-and-run the night Smith was shot.
"I believe the jury worked very, very hard to do what they thought was the appropriate thing in that case", Cannizzaro said.
A prosecutor is telling a New Orleans jury that former Saints star Will Smith was "executed" in April by a man who shot him eight times and wounded his wife. "Well, I'm going to get mine", Hayes said on the stand. But an ATF expert testified that ballistics evidence pointed to only one gun at the scene - Hayes'.
During the trial, he maintained he was acting in self defense after seeing Smith with a weapon.
Assistant New Orleans District Attorney Christopher Bowman said in a statement that his office was "gratified" by the verdict.
In a Sunday closing argument that has lasted three hours, defense lawyer John Fuller reminded jurors of Richard Hernandez, a passenger in the SUV drove that was rear-ended by Hayes' vehicle. You took that away from me.