Cardell Hayes sentenced in death of former Saints standout Will Smith

In December, Hayes, 29, was convicted of manslaughter for killing Smith and attempted manslaughter for shooting and injuring Racquel Smith.

Prosecutors called for the maximum of 60 years. "At least with 25 he has the opportunity to be reunited with his family", Hayes' lawyer, John Fuller, said outside court.

Hayes' sentencing ran Wednesday and Thursday at the Orleans Parish Criminal Court.

But Assistant District Attorney Jason Napoli noted that Michael Burnside said he doesn't own a clock or a calendar, and couldn't be certain of the time and date of the shooting he heard.

"There are no winners here today", her statement says.

As she puts it, "I will continue to shine my light for my Superman".

Cardell Hayes, the man who killed former New Orleans Saints defensive end and Super Bowl champion Will Smith, was sentenced to 25 years in prison Thursday afternoon before his and Smith's family.

The surprise new witness produced by the defense on Wednesday was Michael Burnside of New Orleans, who took the stand insisting that he heard two different weapons fired during the traffic dispute between Hayes and Smith.

Napoli also noted the lack of evidence of any other guns being fired - no shell casings from a second gun, and no witnesses, other than Hayes, who indicated a second gun was involved.

A gun was found in Smith's SUV — loaded but unfired.

"He was special", Payton said, via the New Orleans Times-Picayune.

Racquel Smith also became tearful, and expressed her bitterness the day before as she stared down the man who shot her in the legs and repeatedly fired into her husband's back.

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The defense has noted the absence of any serious criminal record and has said Hayes, a tow truck business owner and the father of a 6-year-old son, feared for his life when he encountered a drunken, belligerent Smith in the traffic dispute. Daniel is urging the judge to give less than the minimum if she feels it's excessive. Formal sentencing is expected later this week.

A Louisiana judge has denied a new trial for the killer of retired New Orleans Saints star Will Smith.

In sometimes rambling and emotional testimony, a New Orleans man is insisting he heard gunfire from two different weapons when Will Smith was shot to death past year.

Although prosecutors said Hayes deliberately rammed Smith's vehicle, Hayes insisted he was trying to get Smith's license number when the second crash occurred. She also noted the enormous emotion surrounding this case, which lasted roughly one year from Hayes' original indictment.

Wailing and shaking, the mother of the man who killed former New Orleans Saints star Will Smith pleaded for mercy from the judge who is preparing to sentence him.

The New Orleans district attorney has said Hayes deserves to be imprisoned for 60 years.

FILE - This April 10, 2016, file photo provided by the Orleans Parish Sheriff's Office shows Cardell Hayes.

He insisted it was self-defense, but was convicted of manslaughter in Smith's death and attempted manslaughter for wounding Smith's wife.

State District Judge Camille Buras is expected to announce her sentence Friday.

Hayes faces up to 60 years in prison for manslaughter and attempted manslaughter after killing Will Smith and wounding Racquel in a confrontation that began when the Smith's auto apparently bumped his Humvee in traffic.

Later, under tough questioning by a prosecutor, he referred to the Smiths, saying, "I apologize for their loss".

New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton took a front row seat alongside Smith's family and friends for the hearing. But he was convicted of manslaughter and attempted manslaughter. But Hayes may still be locked away for a very long time if prosecutors get their way at a sentencing hearing Wednesday, April 19, 2017.

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