NEW ORLEANS (AP) The Latest on an attempt by defense attorneys to have the New Orleans District Attorney removed from prosecuting the case against a man charged in the death of former Saints star Will Smith (all times local):
Defense attorneys for the man charged in the killing of former Saints star Will Smith say the New Orleans district attorney has shown ''personal animosity'' toward them.
In a motion filed in state court Thursday, attorney John Fuller and his associate, Gregory Carter, say Leon Cannizzaro and his staff should be barred from prosecuting the case against Cardell Hayes, charged with second-degree murder in Smith's death. They cite a newspaper article detailing a memo Cannizzaro sent to local, state and federal law enforcement agencies. The article says Cannizzaro alleges that Fuller, Carter and others engaged in witness tampering and intimidation and jeopardized witness safety in unrelated cases. Fuller denies any wrongdoing by himself or his associates.
Cannizzaro's office has not yet responded to the motion. It will be argued in court July 20.
Defense attorneys are trying to get the New Orleans District Attorney's Office removed from the case of Cardell Hayes, the man charged in the April 9 shooting death of former Saints star Will Smith.
Their motion was disclosed in open court Thursday, but their reasons were not discussed and the motion was not available at the court clerk's office as of midday. The next hearing is July 20.
Hayes is charged with second-degree murder in Smith's death, and with the attempted second-degree murder of Smith's wife, who was shot in the legs.
The shooting happened during a confrontation after Hayes' Hummer rammed Smith's SUV. Hayes told police he fired in self-defense, fearing for his life as Smith went to his car to get a gun.