Friday, 17 November, 2017

Killer of NFL's Will Smith gets 25 years for manslaughter

Prosecutor Jason Napoli enters the Orleans Parish criminal courthouse for a sentencing hearing for Cardell Hayes who was convicted of manslaughter in the shooting death of former New Orleans Saints star Will Smith in New Orleans Wednesday Saints were set to hire Will Smith before he was killed
Kristopher Love | 21 April, 2017, 17:26

Hayes was sentenced to 25 years in prison for manslaughter, far less than the maximum prosecutors had called for.

Hayes, who killed Smith in an altercation following a traffic dispute in April of 2016 and injured Smith's wife Raquel by shooting her in the legs, could have received 60 years for convictions of manslaughter and attempted manslaughter.

"I should have just let him (Smith) kill me", said Hayes, who faces decades behind bars for the killing of Smith and the wounding of his wife.

Hayes' lawyer John Fuller defended the 25-year sentence outside of court, ESPN reports.

Fuller also said that Hudson was sure she saw a man who resembled Ceravolo remove a gun from Smith's vehicle - even if it wasn't the retired NOPD captain himself.

Hayes, who took the stand in shackles and an orange prison jump suit, spoke to Smith's children saying he knows what they're going through.

She says they were hopeful Judge Camille Buras would impose a stronger sentence to "more justly reflect" her family's pain and loss.

Judge Buras also set a trial date of June 26 for a pending aggravated assault charge against Smith, according to Ramon Vargas of The New Orleans Advocate. "Lock me up and give me my son back". Regaining his composure, he looked at Smith's widow Racquel and told her he wishes the night had never happened. Saints coach Sean Payton testified Wednesday that had Smith survived, he would have hired him as an assistant.

Napoli also noted the lack of evidence of any other guns being fired — no shell casings from a second gun, and no witnesses, other than Hayes, who indicated a second gun was involved.

Wailing and shaking, the mother of the man who killed former New Orleans Saints star Will Smith pleaded for mercy from the judge who is preparing to sentence him.

"This ordeal has been a nightmare for me and my family".

Smith was cast during the trial as a beloved community leader and a football hero, part of the Saints team that lifted the city's spirits after Hurricane Katrina and later won a Super Bowl. Smith retired from professional football in 2014 after a failed stint with the New England Patriots prior to the 2014-15 season.

Jurors heard at trial that Hayes's Hummer had rear-ended Smith's Mercedes SUV that night, shortly after the SUV appeared to have tapped the rear of Hayes's vehicle. Both hulky former athletes then got out and argued in the street.

Put on the stand to support a defense motion for a new trial for Cardell Hayes, the witness insisted he heard gunfire from two different weapons that night, first "baps" from a smaller weapon, then "booms" from another gun. Smith, 34, was struck by eight bullets, including seven in the back, and died at the scene.

A gun was found in Smith's SUV - loaded but unfired. His wife was shot twice in a leg.

A prosecutor is calling for maximum punishment for the killer of New Orleans Saints star Will Smith.

Prosecutors have acknowledged that the former Saint had a high blood-alcohol level after spending a day at the city's annual French Quarter festival and the evening dining and drinking with friends.

My family and I are extremely disappointed with today's sentencing and the leniency showed by Judge Buras for the defendant.