Timeline: Events related to shooting death of Saints' Smith
NEW ORLEANS (AP) New Orleans resident Cardell Hayes has been convicted of manslaughter in the shooting death of former New Orleans Saints player Will Smith, whose death earlier this year shocked the country. Here's a look at the timeline of events related to the case:
- April 9: A driver in a Hummer runs into the back of Smith's SUV. An argument ensues. Smith is fatally shot and his wife Raquel is wounded in the legs. Hayes is arrested on the scene.
- April 11: Surveillance video shows Smith's SUV bumping Hayes' Hummer moments before the crash that preceded the shooting.
- April 12: Police say they found a loaded handgun in Smith's car, that Hayes told officers on the scene he was the shooter and that in addition to the .45 used in the shooting officers found a revolver in Hayes' vehicle.
- April 13: An attorney for Smith's family holds wide-ranging news conference during which he says Smith didn't brandish a gun during the altercation and had a concealed-carry permit. But a lawyer for Hayes says a witness saw Smith with a gun that night. A coroner says Smith was shot seven times in the back and once in the side.
- April 15: Hayes' lawyer calls for the New Orleans police to recuse themselves from the investigation, claiming their competency and honesty are questionable. The request is later rejected.
- April 16: Funeral services are held for Smith.
- April 28: Grand jury indicts Hayes on one charge of second-degree murder, which carries a mandatory life sentence, and one charge of attempted second-degree murder.
- May 5: Smith's wife, Racquel, accepts his posthumous degree from the University of Miami.
- June 3: A defense lawyer says test results show Smith was legally drunk the night he died.
- July 14: Hayes' lawyer tries to get the New Orleans District Attorney's Office off the case, saying the DA made ''baseless and inflammatory'' statements about him in a report sent to law enforcement agencies.
- July 22: The judge refuses to remove the New Orleans DA and his staff from the Hayes case.
- Oct. 28: Racquel Smith offers her first public remarks since her husband's death, speaking at Will Smith's induction into the Saints' Hall of Fame.
- Nov. 16: Judge rules the jury will be sequestered during Hayes' trial, which begins Dec. 5.
- Dec. 5: Trial begins.
- Dec. 11: A jury convicts Hayes of manslaughter and attempted manslaughter.