Killer of ex-Saints star Smith sentenced to 25 years jail
Los Angeles (AFP) – The man who killed retired New Orleans Saints star Will Smith and wounded Smith’s wife in a traffic dispute 12 months ago was sentenced Thursday to 25 years in prison for manslaughter.
Cardell Hayes faced up to 60 years in prison if given consecutive maximum terms for manslaughter and attempted manslaughter.
Instead, Criminal District Judge Camille Buras in New Orleans sentenced the 29-year-old to 25 years in the death of Smith and 15 years for attempted manslaughter in the shooting of Racquel Smith, with the terms to be served concurrently.
“My family and I are extremely disappointed with today’s sentencing and the leniency showed by Judge Buras for the defendant,” Racquel Smith said in a statement.
“While we know nothing will ever bring Will back, we were hopeful that Judge Buras would have issued a stronger sentence to more justly reflect both the nature of the crimes and the tremendous loss and pain that my family has suffered as a result of Mr. Hayes’ violent actions on the night of April 9, 2016.”
Will Smith was shot after a minor traffic incident in New Orleans.
According to the police report, Hayes’ vehicle hit Smith’s from behind and an argument ensued.
Smith, 34, was struck by eight bullets, including seven in the back, and died at the scene. His wife was shot twice in a leg.
Hayes was convicted of the crimes in December.
Will Smith, the 18th overall pick in the 2004 NFL draft, played nine seasons with the Saints. He accumulated a career-best 13 sacks in 2009 during the Saints’ memorable march to the Super Bowl.