Crime

Source: Witnesses in Will Smith shooting to testify before grand jury

Ramon Antonio Vargas

The New Orleans Advocate

New Orleans Saints defensive end Will Smith (91) celebrates a 17-14 win over the Atlanta Falcons in an NFL football game in Atlanta on Dec. 27, 2010. Smith was fatally shot after a traffic accident in New Orleans.
New Orleans Saints defensive end Will Smith (91) celebrates a 17-14 win over the Atlanta Falcons in an NFL football game in Atlanta on Dec. 27, 2010. Smith was fatally shot after a traffic accident in New Orleans. AP

Witnesses in the fatal shooting of former Saints player Will Smith are expected to testify before a New Orleans grand jury, a source close to the defense team in the case confirmed to The Advocate.

"I have been advised that grand jury subpoenas were issued," the source said when asked about the matter.

Cardell Hayes, the man authorities say gunned down Smith the night of April 9 following a traffic collision on Sophie Wright Place, is scheduled to appear at a preliminary hearing at Orleans Parish Criminal District Court on April 28.

Hayes is also accused of injuring Smith's wife, Racquel, in the deadly incident, which authorities say was witnessed by people in at least three separate cars.

But prosecutors could skip over that preliminary hearing if a grand jury hands up charges against Hayes before then.

Following Smith's shooting, Hayes was jailed on a count of second-degree murder. He has not been booked with shooting Racquel Smith, but authorities have said he faces a charge for that as well.

For more on this story, visit The New Orleans Advocate's website.

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