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

21 Avril, 2017, 18:53 | Author: Claudine Rigal
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The man who killed former Saints defensive lineman Will Smith in April 2016 was sentenced Friday to 25 years in prison for manslaughter.

Racquel Smith, center, widow of former New Orleans Saints star Will Smith, enters the Orleans Parish criminal courthouse with supporters, 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, April 19, 2017.

Cardell Hayes, who faces up to 60 years in prison for manslaughter and attempted manslaughter, said he understands the pain the three Smith children feel as they go through life without their father.

The sentence was handed down on the second day of hearings, after emotional testimony from Will Smith's widow Racquel, friends and former coaches and teammates of Smith's, and even Hayes himself.

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

Among those who took the stand in Hayes' defense was Dennis Martin, his former football coach at Warren Easton High school. The Hayes family also has experienced loss.

Assistant New Orleans District Attorney Laura Rodrigue dismissed the tears as a "desperate attempt" to gain sympathy, and hammered at Hayes' claim of self-defence.

A Louisiana judge has denied a new trial for the killer of retired New Orleans Saints star Will Smith.

Fuller said he did not discuss the sentence's length with Hayes afterward.

Michael Burnside was called by lawyers for Cardell Hayes, convicted of manslaughter previous year in Smith's death. "Whatever happened that night, this court finds it does not warrant what happened to Mr. and Mrs. Smith".

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Tiffany Lacroix, the mother of Hayes' son, also cried on the stand and said her son still struggles to understand why "daddy couldn't bring him to school".

"I know what it's like to not have your father be there". I can say it a million times.

Speaking to Racquel Smith, Hayes said he did not know at first that she had been shot and wounded in the legs. "My son will be 67 years old", said Hayes. Hayes has maintained that he believed Smith was armed when the two argued over a traffic dispute past year.

"All I'm asking for is something I should've have the audacity for - for my ball player, that you give him mercy".

Hayes' defense has argued Smith threw a punch before he was shot. Smith, 34, was struck by eight bullets, including seven in the back, and died at the scene.

But Hayes maintained he attempted to de-escalate the situation and that he did not say the confrontation was Will Smith's fault. "I hope I never have to speak at one of these again". He said Hayes bought a dog for him.

Jolly he could not believe he was seeing Hayes in handcuffs after the crime.

Racquel Smith testified on Wednesday and locked eyes with the man who shot and killed her husband.

At one point, Judge Buras and courtroom deputies admonished a man in audience for raising a fist to Hayes as he left stand.

Michael Burnside testified he heard "baps" and "booms" in describing what he thought was two different weapons being fired.

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