New Orleans Saints

Judge denies reduced bond, sets Sept. 20 trial date for alleged Will Smith killer Cardell Hayes

By JOHN SIMERMAN

JSIMERMAN@THEADVOCATE.COM

A judge Friday declined to reduce bond for Cardell Hayes, the man accused of murdering former Saints lineman Will Smith.

He also set a trial date for Sept. 20, according to the New Orleans Advocate.

Hayes was looking to lower his $1.75 million bond after allegedly shooting Smith eight times and killing him in addition to shooting his wife Racquel twice on April 9.

In a day full of action, off-duty New Orleans police officer Christohper McGaw made maybe the biggest splash. McGraw was having drinks at nearby Half Moon during the incident and testified that Hayes admitted to exiting his Hummer at the crash scene with a gun in his hand.

The incident occured after a three-car collison in the Lower Garden District on Sophie Wright Place.

This hearing is fresh off a new development on Wednesday in the case. According to a source, a toxicology report that Orleans Parish District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro’s office turned over to Smith’s attorneys John Fuller said that Smith's blood-alcohol level was .235 at the time of the shooting, nearly three times the legal limit for driving.

Fuller has said previously that Hayes was "not the aggressor" and has described his client as "extremely sober" that night.

Hayes is a 28-year-old tow truck driver and semi-pro football players. His charges are murder (for Smith), attempted murder for shooting Smith's wife Racquel twice, aggravated assault and criminal damage to property.

Big Freedia, a popular New Orleans musician and the "Queen of Bounce," was present at the hearing.

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