By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
Ronald Gasser, the man who killed former NFL running back Joe McKnight was found guilty on Friday by a suburban New Orleans jury. He was found guilty of manslaughter.
Gasser killed McKnight during a December 2016 road-rage incident. The 56-year-old Gasser will now face a sentence that could carry 40-years, the maximum sentence.
His defense attorneys claimed that he was in fear for his life when he shot McKnight dead. He fired his gun from his driver’s seat at McKnight, who was, according to the documents, standing at his open passenger-side window.
The law enforcement authorities said that Gasser and McKnight had a 5-mile long confrontation that began with dangerously aggressive driving on a New Orleans bridge. It then ended with McKnight being shot as he stood outside of Gasser’s window in an intersection.
The authorities acknowledged that McKnight was driving dangerously.
“We do not dispute that he was driving like a jerk,” Assistant District Attorney Seth Shute told the jurors. He also admitted that McKnight was waving in and out of traffic, cutting off Gasser and other drivers, at a high rate of speed.
Shute said that Gasser then took McKnight’s offensive driving as a “challenge.”
“Mr. Gasser thought that Mr. McKnight had thrown the gauntlet down,” Shute said. “He followed him off the exit. That was not his exit.”
Shute said that McKnight had his hand on the passenger window of Gasser’s car, before he was shot and killed. Shute also admitted that Gasser lied during police questioning when the 56-year-old said that McKnight “lunged” at him.
Gun powder evidence showed that McKnight was not closed to Gasser when he was shot and killed.
Gasser’s defense attorney Matthew Goetz said that Gasser was not pursuing McKnight “down the exit that day but simply taking an alternate route to his nearby home, having been distracted by McKnight.”
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