By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
On December 12, 2016 at 12:09 am EST
The man who allegedly killed former New Orleans Saints defensive end Will Smith has been convicted of manslaughter. 29-year-old Cardell Hayes learned his fate on Sunday night.
The Louisiana jury found Hayes guilty in the week-long trail. He was also found guilty in the attempted manslaughter in wounding Smith’s wife, who survived the shooting.
Smith was killed in April in New Orleans, La. following a car accident. Hayes claimed that he shot Smith and his wife after the former National Football Player punched him.
Hayes said that Smith was irate and drunk at the time of the incident on April 9. He also claimed that after all that happened, he retrieved his weapon after the fact.
The authorities had evidence that Smith never attempted to arm himself. The prosecutor argued that Hayes was not justified in shooting Smith.
Racquel, Smith’s wife, was shot in the legs during the shooting.
Hayes – who was originally facing a second-degree murder trial – was spared from the longer sentence when the jury asked the judge for a lesser sentence. Then, the judge asked the jury to include manslaughter and negligent homicide.
The jurors received the case around 5 pm Sunday after a day of closing arguments, per the Associated Press. The jury also had to hear instructions about reasonable doubt and legal self-defense.
When Hayes was on the witness stand, he said he had shot Smith because he had grabbed for a gun from his vehicle. The prosecutors said ‘there is no evidence Smith was armed when he was shot.’
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