Cardell Hayes sentenced to 25 years for Will Smith killing


The killer of former New Orleans Saints player Will Smith was sentenced to 25 years in prison on Thursday.

The shooting happened on April 6, 2016 when Hayes rear-ended Smith, which then resulted in the fatal shooting of Smith and the injuring of his wife, Racquel.

Fuller objected to the denial of a new trial and invoked Hayes' right for a 48-hour delay of the imposition of his sentence.

Saints coach Sean Payton took a front row seat among Smith's family and friends during the Wednesday morning hearing. That sentence, however, will be served concurrently with the aforementioned manslaughter charges.

(AP Photo/Gerald Herbert). Racquel Smith, widow of former New Orleans Saints star Will Smith, leaves Orleans Parish criminal courthouse Thursday, April 20, 2017, after the sentencing of Cardell Hayes, who killed her husband and shot her, and was convic.

Surveillance footage from the scene appeared to show Smith's Mercedes SUV bump the rear of Hayes' Hummer before speeding off. Moments later, according to authorities, Hayes' Hummer hit the rear of Smith's vehicle, causing it to crash into a third auto.

A jury convicted him of manslaughter and attempted manslaughter for shooting Smith's wife in the leg.

Saints coach Sean Payton and Racquel Smith testified during the sentencing Wednesday, remembering the late Smith for his contributions on and off the field and devotion to his family.

More news: Trump addresses Paris incident: Looks like a terrorist attack

He was in court Wednesday to be sentenced for that crime, but his attorney, John Fuller, filed a motion for a new trial based on purported new evidence that two weapons were fired the night of the murder.

Hayes claimed he was acting in self defense, stating that he only reacted after Smith allegedly fired a gun at him first. His auto had initially made contact with Hayes's vehicle, and Hayes returned the favor a few blocks later, then ended a confrontation by shooting Smith eight times, seven in the back.

A gun was found in Smith's SUV — loaded but unfired.

Assistant District Attorney Jason Napoli noted that Burnside — who said he doesn't own a clock or a calendar — couldn't be certain of the time and date of the shooting he heard.

Racquel Smith was not happy with the sentence.

Sentencing for Cardell Hayes could be delayed today after Judge Camille Buras rules on the new motion filed by Hayes' defense team, seeking a new trial.

A prosecutor is calling a newly found defense witness in the killing of former New Orleans Saints star Will Smith "certifiably insane". His lawyers say he feared for his life when he encountered a drunken and angry Smith that night in April 2016. "You and Will were (both) wrong because you operated in anger", he recalled telling Hayes.

Hayes faces up to 60 years in prison for manslaughter and attempted manslaughter after killing Will Smith and wounding Racquel in a confrontation that began when the Smith's vehicle apparently bumped his Humvee in traffic. Hayes is to be sentenced Thursday at 3:15 p.m. And later, after again insisting that he acted in self-defense as Smith fired a gun at him, despite trial evidence to the contrary, he referred to the Smith family, saying, "I apologize for their loss".