6. Will Smith shot and killed in New Orleans

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Late on the evening of April 9 former New Orleans Saints defensive end Will Smith, a star on the 2010 Super Bowl championship team, was shot and killed following a traffic incident in the city’s Lower Garden District. Cardell Hayes, a former high school football star and current semipro player, admitted shooting Smith eight times, but maintained he only fired in self-defense. In a December trial that rivets the city, Hayes is convicted of manslaughter. He faces sentencing on Feb. 17. — Richard O'Brien