Will Smith Shooting Trial | Trial Preview: Reconstructing the Will Smith shooting

WWL-TV legal analyst Chick Foret discusses a key aspect of the upoming trial of Cardell Hayes: in the shooting death of former Saints player Will Smith, do Hayes' actions constitute murder or justifiable homicide?

In this series of videos, Eyewitness News legal analyst Donald "Chick" Foret analyzes and recreates the events that led to Cardell Hayes fatally shooting Will Smith.  

Hayes, 28, is facing second-degree murder charges and the prospect of life in prison for allegedly shooting to death Smith. Trial begins Monday, Dec. 5 in Criminal District Court at Tulane and Broad. 

'Reconstructing the shooting scene'

Hayes is accused of fatally shooting Smith on April 9 after pursuing him at a high rate of speed following a fender bender on Magazine Street where video apparently shows a vehicle driven by Smith bumping into the back of a vehicle driven by Hayes. This video shows where Smith was shot and killed in the Lower Garden District. 

Where the vehicles collided, who was at the scene

 

A great deal of the events leading up to the shooting were captured on several surveillance cameras, which line the streets along the route where Smith's and Hayes' vehicles traveled.   Those video will be instrumental in the trial. 

Police response


 

At the corner of Felicity and Sophie B. Wright is where Smith was shot and killed. Police responded to the scene fairly quickly.  Who were the first officers to arrive on the scene. 

Who are the witnesses?

 

Who were the witnesses?  Where were the witnesses at the time of the shooting? Who was in the vehicles?

Cardell Hayes' actions after the shooting


 

Foret looks at Hayes' actions after the shooting and how he reacted to police at the scene and, later, detectives' questions. Cardell Hayes stayed on the scene following the shooting and his lawyer, John Fuller, has asserted that he is "legally not guilty."


The surveillance camera outside Juan's Flying Burrito on Magazine Street captured the initial collision between Will Smith and Cardell Hayes. That collision is the whole basis, according to the defense, for how Cardell Hayes got involved with Will Smith.


What happened during Will Smith's dinner at Sake Cafe is another aspect of the night Cardell Hayes' defense will focus on. How much did Will Smith have to drink and what was his demeanor that night? The answers to those questions could be the difference between second degree murder and justifiable homicide.

Follow @ChickForet and @WWLTV on Twitter for live updates from court throughout the trial, and stay tuned to WWL-TV and WWLTV.com as well as Facebook and Twitter for continuous coverage of the Cardell Hayes trial.

 


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