The man who shot and killed ex-NFL player Will Smith was found guilty on Sunday night.
According to reports, a jury convicted Cardell Hayes of manslaughter and attempted manslaughter in a final vote of 10-2 following the road rage incident that left Smith dead and his wife injured. Hayes was originally charged with second-degree murder and second-degree attempted murder, but was convicted of a lesser count.
“Racquel’s heart is full of gratitude for the entire staff of the New Orleans District Attorney’s Office and the members of the police department who worked tirelessly on this case,” Lauren Renschler, a spokeswoman for Smith’s family said in a statement. Renschler said Racquel Smith would not publicly address the facts of the case until after Hayes’ sentencing.
Defense attorney John Fuller had argued earlier in the day that Hayes fired in self-defense and was the victim of a rushed investigation by police reacting to the death of a beloved football star.
Ex-NFL player Joe McKnight was killed in a similar manner; we’re hoping this is a sign his shooter will also be brought to justice. We are keeping the Smith and McKnight families in our prayers.