Will Smith’s alleged killer Cardell Hayes indicted on murder charge – USA TODAY

6 months ago Comments Off on Will Smith’s alleged killer Cardell Hayes indicted on murder charge – USA TODAY

NEW ORLEANS – An Orleans Parish grand jury has indicted Cardell Hayes on second-degree murder charge in the shooting death of former New Orleans Saints defensive end Will Smith, and included an attempted second-degree murder charge involving the shooting of Racquel Smith.

Bond was set at $1.75 million.

The indictment came in the middle of a preliminary hearing in court that was preceded by and included fireworks.

Legal observers seemed to think that prosecutors were trying to keep the preliminary hearing stalled in an attempt to secure the indictment before it could proceed.

John Fuller, the attorney for Cardell Hayes, appeared irritated prior to the hearing and then complained that Hayes had been called to a grand jury without his knowledge. The district attorney’s office said that they had notified Fuller of their intention to honor his request to have Hayes testify before the grand jury. Fuller said he had not accepted the invite.

Then, just as the hearing started, the prosecution announced it would not call any witnesses, and instead offered only the arrest report as evidence. The judge immediately said he would need to research if that was allowable, while Fuller asked that his client be released immediately.

The judge said he would accept the arrest report as sufficient from the prosecution and Fuller began calling witnesses.

Hayes is accused of fatally shooting Smith on April 9 after pursuing him at a high rate of speed following a fender bender on Magazine Street where video apparently shows a vehicle driven by Smith bumping into the back of a vehicle driven by Hayes.

Smith’s vehicle pulled away after Hayes’ vehicle pulled over and the Hummer that Hayes was driving then began pursuit. Eventually Hayes’ vehicle slammed into the back of Smith’s Mercedes, an impact that shattered the windows of Smith’s SUV.

What exactly happened that led to the shooting is in dispute, but Smith was shot eight times, seven in the back, while his wife Racquel was shot twice in the leg.

Hayes was initially booked with second-degree murder for the killing of Smith. There were no initial charges in the shooting of Racquel Smith.

Hayes stayed on the scene following the shooting and his lawyer, John Fuller, has asserted that he is “legally not guilty.”

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Will Smith’s alleged killer Cardell Hayes indicted on murder charge – USA TODAY

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