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Former Saints pass rusher Will Smith’s killer granted a new trial four years after being convicted

Cardell Hayes would not leave the scene after shooting Saints defensive end Will Smith
Cardell Hayes would not leave the scene after shooting Saints defensive end Will Smith, and there were reports that Will Smith was 3x over the legal limit

It has been almost four years since Cardell Hayes was convicted and charged with the murder of New Orleans Saints defensive end Will Smith. Cardell Hayes will get a new trial.

The Supreme Court decided that Louisiana and Oregon who both had a “split decision convictions” were considered unconstitutional. So what that means is if 10 of the 12 jurors voted the person was guilty of a crime it was enough to find the person guilty.

In December 2016, an Orleans Parish jury voted 10-2 to convict Hayes of manslaughter in the death of Smith and attempted manslaughter in the shooting of Smith’s then wife, Racquel. 

Cardell Hayes was sentenced to 25 years in prison after he was found guilty of manslaughter for killing Saints defensive lineman Will Smith.

He was also given a 15 year sentence to run concurrent for attempted manslaughter for trying to hurt Smith’s wife.

He was facing a second-degree murder charge but they instead charged with him manslaughter.

This is going to be interesting if Hayes is able to get off these charges. There were some things that did play in Hayes favor. He did not leave the scene of the incident and Will Smith was 3x over the legal limit.

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