NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - The Louisiana 4th Circuit Court of Appeals Wednesday upheld the conviction for the man who shot and killed former Saints player Will Smith.
A three-judge panel unanimously rejected all grounds of Cardell Hayes’ appeal and affirmed his convictions and sentence for the April 2016 fatal shooting of Smith and the shooting of Smith’s wife Racquel.
Hayes was convicted in December 2016 by an Orleans Parish jury of manslaughter and attempted manslaughter, but acquitted of aggravated criminal damage to a vehicle.
Criminal District Judge Camille Buras sentenced Hayes to 25 years at hard labor for the manslaughter and 15 years for the attempted manslaughter, to be served concurrently and without the benefit of probation, parole or suspension of sentence.
Orleans Parish District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro said, “I am very pleased with this unequivocal ruling by the appellate court affirming the convictions and sentence of Cardell Hayes. There was no justification for the brutal killing of Will Smith over a traffic dispute three years ago, and his widow Racquel has today expressed her gratitude for our defense of the trial outcome and the 4th Circuit’s decision. We will continue our efforts as needed to ensure that Mr. Hayes serves the complete sentence imposed for his criminal acts.”