Ex-Saints star's killer seeks new trial before sentencing

Ex-Saints star's killer seeks new trial before sentencing

Speaking to reporters during his annual pre-draft press conference, New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton indicated that the team was set to hire former defensive end Will Smith before he was killed last April. That's far less than the maximum.

Racquel Smith, 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 d.

Hayes faces up to 60 years in prison for manslaughter and attempted manslaughter after shooting Smith and wounding Smith's wife, Raquel, during a dispute over traffic. Prosecutors want the maximums, served consecutively, for a total of 60 years.

"You don't put an obviously disturbed man on the stand".

A sentencing hearing for Cardell Hayes will hear from defense witnesses testifying on Hayes' Thursday morning.

But his sentencing Wednesday could be delayed because his lawyers also were to argue a motion for a new trial.

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Smith was shot a total of 8 times, 7 times in the back, by Cardell Hayes following a traffic incident.

Although prosecutors said Hayes deliberately rammed Smith's vehicle, Hayes insisted he was trying to get Smith's license number when the second crash occurred. No additional shell casings have been found, he said, and no witnesses other than Hayes have pointed to a second gun.

Hayes said he repeatedly shot Smith in fear for his life, but no other witness or evidence supported his belief that Smith fired a weapon.

He said he took responsibility for actions by staying on the scene to wait for police and talking to them once they arrived.

Racquel Smith filed one against Hayes, and Richard Hernandez, a passenger in Smith's auto that night, sued both Smith and Hayes, accusing both of aggressiveness and drunkenness, and seeking damages for personal injuries.

Evidence presented during Hayes' trial showed that Smith's 9 mm semi-automatic handgun was found loaded but unused inside his SUV.

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Hayes said he armed himself only after he and his own passenger were accosted by Smith and Richard Hernandez, a passenger in Smith's Mercedes. Smith's widow Racquel accused Hayes of lying.

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.

Fuller reminded Hayes he could be in prison for the next 60 years, based on Buras' decision, and asked how being away from his son that long would affect him.

The man who killed retired New Orleans Saints star Will Smith has been breaking down in tears over being separated from his little boy.

He insisted it was self-defense, but was convicted of manslaughter in Smith's death and attempted manslaughter for wounding Smith's wife. "I wish that night never happened". "You and Will were (both) wrong because you operated in anger", he recalled telling Hayes. They tearfully aimed bitter remarks at Smith's killer, Cardell Hayes. 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". She presided over the trial and is familiar with all the issues raised in pre-hearing motions and a pre-sentence report she ordered. But he was convicted of manslaughter and attempted manslaughter.

His family and friends were in the courtroom Wednesday and some may be called to the stand Thursday to support Hayes.

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Judge Camille Buras is expected to sentence Hayes no later than Friday.

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