Weeks after former New Orleans Saints player Will Smith was fatally shot during a traffic dispute, a New Orleans grand jury has decided to indict the alleged gunman.
ESPN reports that 28-year-old Cardell Hayes has been charged with second-degree murder, aggravated assault and attempt to commit second-degree murder against Smith’s wife. He is currently being held on $1.75 million bond.
The shooting occurred on the evening of April 9. Smith and his wife, Racquel, were driving in New Orleans’ Lower Garden District when they were rear-ended by Hayes. The two men got into a verbal altercation while Racquel pleaded with Hayes to stop. According to police reports, Hayes pulled a gun and opened fire, striking Smith nine times and hitting Racquel twice in the legs. Smith was pronounced dead at the scene.
The indictment was announced in court yesterday afternoon. Smith’s family expresses gratitude at the ruling.
“We’re not surprised, and we’re very confident that once all the facts are in evidence, then the defendant will be convicted on all counts,” Smith family attorney Peter Thomson told reporters. “While nothing can relieve the pain that Racquel and her family are dealing with, we feel this is a step in the right direction toward justice.”
Hayes is due back in court on May 18.