"Can Cardell Hayes win a claim of self-defense in death of Will Smith? Lawyers disagree"
Recently in New Orleans a retired NFL player, Will Smith, was shot and killed in a road rage incident by one Cardell Hayes, a man with a criminal record. Smith's wife was also shot in the legs by Hayes. Dog bites man story, right?
The reason I found this one worthy of a post was because of this story on the case by The Advocate, a New Orleans newspaper.
As usual, the journalist doesn't seem to have much idea what he's talking about, and the phrase "stand-your-ground" is thrown about with reckless abandon. Surprisingly, and unusually, however, he managed to find a bunch of lawyers to talk with who seemed to know the right questions to ask and the kinds of answers they were looking for (depending on their position on the case).
For that, I am thankful. Here's a taste of the story:
John Fuller, Hayes’ lead defense counsel, has not said his client will claim self-defense in court. But his public proclamations, thus far, have hinted heavily at that strategy.
“My client was not the aggressor in terms of the behavior that happened after the accident,” Fuller said Sunday. “My client is claiming that he’s not guilty, and that’s what we intend to show.”
Fuller and an attorney for Smith’s family, Peter Thomson, held dueling news conferences on Wednesday, sketching out alternate versions of what happened near Sophie Wright Place and Felicity Street shortly before 11:30 p.m. Saturday.
Thomson said a confrontation over a minor, three-car collision had seemingly been defused when Hayes suddenly started shooting, wounding Smith’s wife, Racquel, in both legs, and killing Will Smith with eight shots, including seven to the back.
Thomson said Smith never made threats to Hayes, never reached for the 9 mm gun he had stowed away in his Mercedes SUV and had his back to the killer when the shooting started.