A business owner and semiprofessional football player was indicted Thursday on a second-degree murder charge in the shooting death of retired New Orleans Saints’ defensive end Will Smith.
Cardell Hayes was also indicted on a charge of attempted murder because police say he wounded Smith’s wife after they got into a dispute when Hayes’s Hummer hit Smith’s Mercedes SUV from behind on April 9. Smith’s wife was in the passenger seat at the time. John Fuller, Hayes’ defense lawyer said Hayes was not the aggressor and that a witness saw a gun in Smith’s possession.
Police say a loaded gun was found in Smith’s vehicle. A lawyer for Smith’s family, Peter Thomson, insists Smith never brandished or carried it. Thomson has described Hayes as “enraged” during the altercation and portrayed his clients as the victims. Smith was shot seven times in the back and once along his side, according to a coroner. His wife, Racquel, was shot twice in the legs but survived.
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