UNITED STATES NEWS

Closing arguments slated as retrial of ex-NFL star Smith’s killer nears an end

Jan 26, 2024, 12:33 PM

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Closing arguments were slated for Friday afternoon in the manslaughter retrial of Cardell Hayes, who fatally shot former New Orleans Saints star Will Smith following a traffic crash almost eight years ago.

Hayes was convicted in December 2016 of manslaughter in Smith’s death and attempted manslaughter for the gunshot wounding of Smith’s wife, Racquel. But the jury vote was 10-2 and the conviction was tossed after the Supreme Court outlawed nonunanimous verdicts. Hayes was released on bond after having served more than four years of a 25-year sentence.

His retrial was delayed for years for various reasons, including court closures during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Prosecutors rested their case against Hayes on Friday and the defense chose not to call witnesses, setting the stage for closing arguments and jury deliberations.

Hayes, 36, insisted at his 2016 trial that he shot Smith in self-defense during the April 2016 confrontation. Hayes said he fired at Smith, hitting him once in the side and seven times in the back, only because he believed a drunken and belligerent Smith had retrieved a gun from his SUV. He insisted on the stand that he heard a “pop” before he started shooting and that he did not shoot at Smith’s wife, who was hit in the legs.

Evidence showed Smith was intoxicated at the time of the confrontation. But there was no witness or forensic evidence to back up Hayes’ claim that Smith had wielded or fired a weapon.

Smith, a 34-year-old father of three, was a defensive leader on the Saints team that lifted spirits in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina devastated the city in 2005. He helped carry the team to a winning season in 2006 and a Super Bowl victory in 2010.

Hayes, who owned a tow truck business, once played semi-pro football. He has one son.

United States News

Associated Press

Rapidly expanding wildfires in the Texas Panhandle prompt evacuations

CANADIAN, Texas (AP) — Surging wildfires fueled by strong winds and dry grass in unseasonably warm temperatures prompted safety warnings for residents of several towns and at least one evacuation order in the far northern part of the Texas Panhandle on Tuesday. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued a disaster declaration for 60 counties and ordered […]

42 minutes ago

Associated Press

Lawsuit claims isolation and abuse at Wyoming Boys School

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Staff at Wyoming’s state youth detention facility locked juveniles in solitary confinement for weeks at a time, repeatedly buckled one in a restraint chair for up to 12 hours a day and poked fun at another while withholding the leg brace he needed for his disability for months, a federal lawsuit […]

46 minutes ago

Associated Press

NTSB: Engine oil warnings sounded moments before jet crash-landed on Florida highway, killing 2

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Moments before the deadly crash of a charter jet on a Florida highway, three warnings about oil pressure problems in its two engines sounded, the National Transportation Safety Board said in a preliminary report Tuesday. The Bombardier aircraft flying from Ohio with five people aboard was cleared to land at […]

1 hour ago

FILE - U.S. MV-22B Osprey transport aircraft are parked at the U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenm...

Associated Press

Services prepare to brief Secretary Austin on a plan to get Ospreys flying again

WASHINGTON (AP) — The military services will take a key step toward getting the V-22 Osprey fleet back in the air as they lay out their plans Friday to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin for addressing safety concerns stemming from a fatal crash in Japan, three defense officials said. The U.S. fleet of about 400 Osprey […]

1 hour ago

Associated Press

Federal prosecutors take over case against man charged with threatening Virginia church

MANASSAS, Va. (AP) — Federal prosecutors have taken over the case against a northern Virginia man arrested last year on suspicion he was about to embark on a mass shooting at a megachurch. Local prosecutors in Prince William County on Tuesday dropped charges against Rui Jiang, 35, of Falls Church, including a charge of attempted […]

2 hours ago

Associated Press

A mower sparked a Nebraska wildfire that has burned an area roughly the size of Omaha, officials say

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A mower sparked a prairie fire that has burned a huge swath of grassland in central Nebraska roughly the size of the state’s largest city of Omaha, state officials said Tuesday. The fire, first reported Monday morning less than 10 miles (16.1 kilometers) northeast of North Platte, destroyed one home, damaged […]

2 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s 1 way to ensure your family is drinking safe water

Water is maybe one of the most important resources in our lives, and especially if you have kids, you want them to have access to safe water.

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Valley residents should be mindful of plumbing ahead of holidays

With Halloween in the rear-view and more holidays coming up, Day & Night recommends that Valley residents prepare accordingly.

Closing arguments slated as retrial of ex-NFL star Smith’s killer nears an end