New Orleans Saints

Lawyer: Will Smith shooting suspect was 'emotional' on scene

BY MATT SLEDGE

MSLEDGE@THEADVOCATE.COM

New Orleans Saints defensive end Will Smith, pictured in 2012, was fatally shot after a traffic accident in New Orleans.
New Orleans Saints defensive end Will Smith, pictured in 2012, was fatally shot after a traffic accident in New Orleans. AP

A lawyer for Cardell Hayes, the man accused of shooting former Saints player Will Smith over the weekend, floated the possibility on Sunday that another firearm may have been involved in the confrontation that led to Smith’s death.

The lawyer, John Fuller, did not go into specifics, but said simply, “One of the parties besides Mr. Hayes may have had a firearm.”

The New Orleans Police Department has not said whether any other weapons were recovered from the three vehicles seized after the shooting. Asked on Monday about Fuller’s suggestion, Harrison deflected the question.

“Don’t forget, that is a defense attorney,” Harrison replied.

Fuller revealed few details about the defense strategy in the high-profile case. But he said witnesses told him his client was “emotional” in the aftermath of the shooting.

Police said that Hayes fatally shot Smith after crashing into the football player’s SUV and arguing with him near the corner of Sophie B. Wright Place and Felicity Street just before 11:30 p.m. Fuller has not acknowledged that his client shot Smith, but after a court hearing Sunday he said Hayes was “not the aggressor” in the incident.

Hayes, the alleged shooter, remained in jail on Monday on $1 million bond. A hearing is set for 3 p.m. to determine his permanent counsel; Fuller is scheduled to take a temporary position as a judge in Orleans Criminal District Court on May 1.

Fuller said defense attorney Jay Daniels will be taking over representation for Hayes at the hearing.

New Orleans Police Department Superintendent Michael Harrison said Monday morning that he and Mayor Mitch Landrieu had met with Smith’s wife, Racquel, to offer their condolences.

Read more at theneworleansadvocate.com

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