NEW ORLEANS, La. (WDSU) — Sources have told WDSU News that a man convicted of manslaughter in the shooting death of former NFL player Joe McKnight is getting a new trial.
Ronald Gasser was found guilty of manslaughter in January of 2016.
He was sentenced to 30 years in prison.
BREAKING: Man convicted of killing @NFL @nyjets @uscfootball star Joe McKnight near #Nola will get new trial. Ronald Gasser was convicted 10-2, Supreme Court says all jury verdicts have to be unanimous. More soon. @wdsu @AdamSchefter @RapSheet— Travers Mackel (@TraversWDSU) July 15, 2020
The source said the decision comes after the Supreme Court declared split-jury verdicts were unconstitutional earlier this year.
At trial, Gasser’s verdict came back with a 10-2 guilty verdict.
Gasser was originally arrested in the December 2016 shooting that his attorneys called a road rage incident gone bad.
Authorities have said McKnight and Gasser drove erratically and yelled at each other in a traffic confrontation before the shooting. Investigators said the confrontation took place as the men traveled over the Crescent City Connection in New Orleans and onto roads in a neighboring district.
Defense attorneys said Gasser fired in self-defense when McKnight approached his car after the confrontation. Prosecutors said Gasser falsely claimed McKnight tried to lunge into Gasser’s car when it was stopped at a traffic light. They say physical evidence indicates he made no such aggressive move.
McKnight was a standout football player well-known in New Orleans since his days playing in high school at John Curtis. He went on to play for the University of Southern California in 2006, followed by four seasons in the NFL, three with the New York Jets and one with the Kansas City Chiefs.
By: WDSU Digital Team