Crime

Cardell Hayes sentenced in death of former Saints standout Will Smith

FILE - This April 10, 2016, file photo provided by the Orleans Parish Sheriff's Office shows Cardell Hayes. Hayes, the suspect in the death of Will Smith, said he shot in self-defense because he feared the retired New Orleans Saints star, although unarmed, was going for a gun as they argued over a car crash. "It was self-defense," Hayes can be heard telling detectives in a recording of an interview made hours after the shooting. The recording was played in court Friday, June 3, 2016.(Orleans Parish Sheriff's Office via AP, File)
FILE - This April 10, 2016, file photo provided by the Orleans Parish Sheriff's Office shows Cardell Hayes. Hayes, the suspect in the death of Will Smith, said he shot in self-defense because he feared the retired New Orleans Saints star, although unarmed, was going for a gun as they argued over a car crash. "It was self-defense," Hayes can be heard telling detectives in a recording of an interview made hours after the shooting. The recording was played in court Friday, June 3, 2016.(Orleans Parish Sheriff's Office via AP, File) AP

Cardell Hayes was sentenced to 25 years total in prison Wednesday, more than four months after being convicted of killing former New Orleans Saints standout Will Smith and wounding Smith's wife, Racquel.

In December, Hayes, 29, was convicted of manslaughter for killing Smith and attempted manslaughter for shooting and injuring Racquel Smith. Manslaughter carries a maximum 40-year sentence; attempted manslaughter carries a maximum 20-year sentence.

Leading up to the sentencing, the past day and a half in Criminal District Court Judge Camille Buras' courtroom has featured gripping testimony from both sides.

For more on this story, visit the New Orleans Advocate.

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