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):

12:30 p.m.

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.

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11 a.m.

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.

 

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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