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jj009 Offline



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06.02.2020 02:21
ooting until he saw a weapon in Smiths hand and heard a pop -- as Hayes testified Saturday. And Fuller strongly suggested that S Antworten

NEW ORLEANS -- The man accused of murdering former New Orleans Saints standout Will Smith is now waiting for a jury of eight women and four men to decide his fate after they began deliberations just before 5 p.m. CT on Sunday evening.Lawyers for both sides passionately spent the day asking that jury to decide whether Cardell Hayes, 29, acted in self-defense or if it was another senseless act of stupidity in a city that is unfortunately known for its gun violence, as the prosecution argued.This is all about somebody getting really mad, shouted assistant district attorney Laura Rodrigue, who said it wouldnt play well to stand in front of somebody in this community and say, I just got pissed off and killed him. ... But it happens every day.Hayes attorney, John Fuller, meanwhile, spent nearly four hours pleading the case of his client, who is accused of murdering Smith and attempting to murder Smiths wife, Racquel, who was shot once through both legs before Smith was shot eight times -- including seven times in the back.Fuller claimed that Hayes did not begin shooting until he saw a weapon in Smiths hand and heard a pop -- as Hayes testified Saturday. And Fuller strongly suggested that Smith himself might have shot his own wife -- even though no evidence has been produced to show that another gun was produced, fired or found on the scene.Hayes is charged with three counts -- the second-degree murder of Smith, which carries a mandatory life sentence in Louisiana; the attempted second-degree murder of Racquel; and aggravated criminal damage to property for intentionally hitting Smiths car. The jury could also decide to find Hayes guilty of lesser offenses, including manslaughter and negligent homicide -- though both sides argued against any sort of compromise verdict in court.Mr. Smith did not deserve to die because of an accident. He did not deserve to die because he was intoxicated. But what he did was put Mr. Hayes in a position where all he could do was defend himself, said Fuller, who spent the course of the seven-day trial painting Smith and others in his party as drunken, aggressive attackers who rushed at Hayes and his friend after a pair of traffic incidents.Its not about his character, its that he wasnt acting himself on that night, Fuller argued.Fuller criticized the prosecution for never testing the DNA on the bullet they claim sailed through Racquels legs or for never putting a doctor on the stand to explain why bullet fragments couldnt be removed from Racquels legs for further evidence.The prosecution, meanwhile, called the idea that Smith shot his own wife desperation, saying the first they heard of it was when Hayes made the claim in his Saturday testimony -- pointing out that the defense never even suggested the theory in opening arguments. And the prosecution continued to insist that every bullet and every shell casing matched every wound -- and they were all traced back to one gun.Furthermore, to believe the garbage that Fuller and Hayes were spewing, Rodrigue said the jury would have to believe that someone removed the mystery gun from the scene, removed the mystery bullet from the scene and washed gunshot residue off of Smiths hands -- in front of a packed scene that was crowded with people within 30 seconds of the shooting.Rodrigue also argued that they would have to ignore the math and science of the ballistics experts, as well as the crash expert who testified that the entire incident began with Hayes intentionally ramming his car into the back of Smiths vehicle. And they would have to ignore the testimony of many witnesses.Rodrigue also argued that Hayes himself never mentioned Smith producing or firing a gun when he briefly spoke to police detectives and people on the scene in recorded conversations that night.Fuller argued that all evidence showed Hayes tried to avoid doing what he had to do and showed restraint -- while almost all witnesses testified that Smith had to be restrained by his wife. Fuller said neutral witnesses painted Smith and those in his party as the aggressors during a heated argument -- though the state argued that the witnesses did not know a crash expert had testified that Hayes intentionally caused the accident or that Hayes was the only one who exited his vehicle with a gun that night.In one of Fullers most passionate moments, he chastised assistant district attorney Jason Napoli for having the nerve to say in his initial closing argument that this case is not even close even though jurors must be torn.He had the nerve to tell you to check your brain, Fuller said. You think you wouldnt have had the emotions you had yesterday if this wasnt even close? ... How dare he tell you to check your brain.Fuller said finding closure for Ms. Smith is not why the jury is here, and a miscarriage of justice or misapplication of the law wont bring Smith back.Much of Fullers oratory also centered around a personal war of words between the attorneys, saying the prosecutors attacked him and fellow defense attorney Jay Daniels, dragging the case into the mud. Presumably, that was part of Fullers week-long attempts to paint the case as an example of Smith receiving star treatment because of his celebrity, with the full force of the DAs office on Smiths side and not his clients side.Rodrigue, however, addressed the issue of star treatment, pointing out that the state aggressively prosecuted former Saints star Darren Sharper, who was found guilty of multiple rapes in multiple states. Napoli also said in his opening remarks, saying that he couldnt agree more with Fuller, that this is a case of the haves and the have-nots -- and that Racquel and her family are the have-nots after losing their husband and father and nobody in the city would trade places with them.And both Napoli and Rodrigue made a passionate plea toward the jurors, saying it is their job to help them corral a crime problem in New Orleans that also includes the recent shooting of another former NFL player, Joe McKnight, whose funeral is scheduled for Monday, just across town from the courthouse.Napoli said if they justify what Hayes did, they might as well close this building and allow anarchy out there.You are the only weapon we have to fight back against the violence in this city, Napoli said. You all will decide what type of city we will have, how we will treat one another. 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