Former Saint Will Smith’s killer could get a new trial- says U.S. Supreme Court

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NEW ORLEANS – A decision from the U.S. Supreme Court could mean a new trial for the man convicted of killing former Saints player Will Smith.

On April 9, 2016, Smith was shot to death outside his car after a dispute with another driver on Magazine Street in the Lower Garden District.

Later that same year, the other driver, Cardell Hayes, was convicted of manslaughter for shooting Smith, and attempted murder for shooting Smith’s wife.

But the jury verdict was not unanimous, and since then, the Supreme Court has ruled that non-unanimous verdicts in felony trials violate the Sixth Amendment of the Constitution.

Also, the ban on non-unanimous juries is retroactive in Hayes’ case, meaning that his conviction is thrown out.

District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro’s office must decide whether or not to pursue a new trial.

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