April retrial date for man who killed ex-Saints star Smith

A new trial date of April 4 has been set for the man who killed ex-NFL star Will Smith in New Orleans in 2016 following a confrontation over a traffic crash

NEW ORLEANS — A new retrial date of April 4 was set Wednesday for the man who killed ex-NFL star Will Smith in 2016 following a confrontation over a traffic crash in New Orleans.

Cardell Hayes remains free on bond after his earlier manslaughter conviction in Smith’s death was overturned because the trial jury verdict was not unanimous. He has pleaded not guilty and insisted at his earlier trial that he shot Smith in self-defense.

Derbes and defense attorney John Fuller jointly asked for a trial delay and state District Judge Camille Buras granted it. Derbes also said prosecutors plan to file a change of venue motion that could result in the proceedings being moved from New Orleans. He cited publicity surrounding Hayes’ arrest, the leadup to the 2016 trial and the trial itself. Fuller did not comment on that issue.

Hayes maintained that he shot Smith in self-defense after the two argued following a traffic crash. But Hayes, who testified in his own defense, was the only witness at his trial to say Smith held a gun or fired it. A handgun was found loaded but unused in Smith’s car.

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