Cardell Hayes Biography, Wiki
Cardell Hayes is charged for the murder of the Conviction of Former New Orleans Saints Player Will Smith. This all goes back to the fact that now unanimous juries are required in Louisiana cases.
Because Hayes was convicted on a 10 to 2 jury and he was still going through the appeals process, Fox 8 legal analyst Joseph Raspanti says his trial goes back to square one.
In 2016, Hayes was found guilty of manslaughter and attempted manslaughter for shooting former Saints player Will Smith and his wife Racquel.
The jury took more than 5 hours to deliberate. Hayes told jurors he feared for his life and thought Smith had a gun in his hand when he opened fire.
Raspanti says now that he’s granted another trial it will look very different a second time.
“Whenever you try a case again it’s a totally different trial so sometimes DA’s and defense attorneys will say ‘let’s work something out’ but many times that’s not the case. You go back in the courtroom, pick another jury, put the witnesses on again and try the case all over again. This is going to be interesting because this case got a lot of publicity so that could impact what goes on going forward,” Raspanti said.
Cardell Hayes is 32-years-old.
Supreme Court Has Overturned
The U.S. Supreme Court has overturned a manslaughter conviction in the murder case of former NFL player Will Smith.
The nation’s highest court vacated the conviction of Cardell Hayes on Monday, basing its decision on last year’s Ramos v. Louisiana case that found non-unanimous verdicts to be unconstitutional in criminal cases.
Hayes was previously found guilty of manslaughter in the death of Will Smith and attempted manslaughter of Raquel Smith, the athlete’s wife, following a week-long trial. He was found not guilty of aggravated criminal damage to property.
Hayes had initially faced murder and attempted murder charges, but was convicted on the manslaughter charges.
Hayes had been convicted in a 10-2 vote. Orleans Parish District Attorney Jason Williams, who was sworn in on Monday, will now decide whether or not to pursue a new case against Hayes.
“In accordance with the United States Supreme Court ruling in Ramos v. Louisiana, which struck down Louisiana’s Jim Crow-era non-unanimous jury law, today the U.S. Supreme Court remanded two cases to lower courts for new trial,” Williams said in a statement obtained by PEOPLE.
“Both of those cases — one well known, and one relatively unknown to the public — will receive thorough review and a decision in the coming weeks on the best way to proceed under the law to deliver justice,” Williams said. In addition to Hayes’, the Supreme Court on Monday vacated the previous conviction of Reginald Jones, who was also found guilty in a split vote.
Authorities said in a press release previously obtained by PEOPLE that Will and Racquel were shot by Hayes in April 2016 after he rear-ended their vehicle with his Hummer. The two men then “exchanged words” and Hayes “produced a handgun and shot Smith multiple times.”
Racquel received one gunshot wound to the leg but survived.