The Latest: Defense angrily demands mistrial, judge says no
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The Latest on the trial of Cardell Hayes, charged with second-degree murder in the fatal shooting of former New Orleans Saints star Will Smith (all times local):
A defense lawyer angrily demanded a mistrial in reaction to a prosecutor’s remarks in the trial of the man who fatally shot former New Orleans Saints star Will Smith.
Assistant District Attorney Laura Rodrigue on Thursday was questioning witness Kevin O’Neal, a friend of defendant Cardell Hayes.
Rodrigue said O’Neal once accused defense attorney John Fuller of being a “sellout” who “gets people off on technicalities when they’re guilty.”
Fuller leapt to his feet and yelled for a mistrial. State District Judge Camille Buras denied the motion and the questioning continued.
O’Neal said the statement was “totally out of context.”
Hayes is on trial for second-degree murder. The defense says Hayes shot Smith in self-defense, fearing Smith was fetching a gun from his car amid the chaos that followed an April 9 traffic crash.
A friend of the driver on trial for killing former New Orleans Saints star Will Smith told a jury he tried to restrain Smith in the heated exchange of words following an April 9 crash.
Kevin O’Neal was a passenger in the Hummer driven by Cardell Hayes. The Hummer rear-ended Smith’s SUV, leading to a confrontation with Smith and his friends and ending in fatal gunfire.
O’Neal said: “I grabbed Mr. Smith and asked him to please chill out.”
O’Neal is a prosecution witness, but he’s friendly to Hayes, who is on trial for second-degree murder. Hayes’ lawyers are building a case for self-defense.
On the stand Thursday, O’Neal painted a scene of post-accident chaos and insisted that Smith and two of his friends were the aggressors.
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