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The Latest: Blood testing shows Will Smith was legally drunk

June 03, 2016 - 1:56 PM

NEW ORLEANS - The Latest on a hearing for the suspect in the April shooting death of former New Orleans Saints star Will Smith (all times local):

3:15 p.m.

A defence lawyer has confirmed that test results show retired New Orleans Saints lineman Will Smith was legally drunk the night he died. John Fuller says Smith's blood-alcohol level was .235 per cent, nearly three times the level considered proof of drunkenness in Louisiana.

Fuller referenced the toxicology report Friday in court as he argued unsuccessfully for a reduction in the $1.75 million bond for Cardell Hayes, who faces murder and attempted murder charges in the death of Smith and the wounding of Smith's wife.

Fuller confirmed the report after the hearing. He noted that Hayes told detectives after the April 9 shooting that he was afraid that Smith and the people in his car were drunk or on drugs.

Hayes' defenders have repeatedly said that there is no indication that Hayes was drunk that night.


2:10 p.m.

A judge has refused to reduce the $1.75 million bond against the man charged with the second-degree murder of ex-New Orleans Saints star Will Smith.

An attorney for Cardell Hayes said Friday that he is not a flight risk, noting that Hayes did not flee and waited for police the night Smith was killed. Attorney John Fuller also said Hayes has made a strong case for self-defence.

Prosecutor Jason Napoli argued that evidence showed Hayes purposely rammed Smith's SUV before the shooting, after Smith had earlier bumped into the rear of Hayes' Hummer.

Napoli also noted that Hayes got out of his car, armed with a handgun, while Smith was unarmed.

Hayes told investigators he feared Smith was going back to his car for a gun.


11:25 a.m.

A police officer has testified that the right hand of a lifeless Will Smith was extended toward the glove box of his SUV when his body was found following an April 9 shooting.

Officer Christopher McGaw's Friday testimony came during a hearing for Cardell Hayes, charged with second-degree murder in Smith's death.

Earlier, McGaw — and a 911 recording the night of the shooting — indicated that Hayes admitted being armed after exiting a vehicle to confront Smith after a traffic crash. McGaw said Hayes said Smith was unarmed, but indicated that he, too, had a gun. Police have said they found a loaded gun in Smith's car.

Hayes' lawyer has said his client was not the aggressor in the confrontation. He raised the possibility in cross examining McGaw that Hayes felt threatened by Smith and others on the scene.


11:20 a.m.

A 911 recording played in court captures the suspect in the shooting of former New Orleans Saints star Will Smith stating that he was carrying his weapon and Smith was unarmed when they got out of their cars to argue over a collision.

The recording includes a conversation between Cardell Hayes and an off-duty police officer, Christopher McGaw, who arrived on the scene after hearing the car crash and arguments. The rookie officer says he ducked for cover and didn't see the gunfire itself.

The rookie officer testified Friday that he kept the 911 line open as he talked with Hayes. He was on the stand as the recording — often difficult to understand — was played in court. McGaw testified that Hayes told him that when Smith saw his handgun, Smith said he had one as well.

Police have said that Smith's gun was inside his car and was not fired.


9 a.m.

The suspect in the fatal shooting of former New Orleans Saints star Will Smith is back in court.

Prosecutors and attorneys for Cardell Hayes plan to argue over several issues Friday, possibly including a motion to reduce the suspect's $1.75 million bond to an amount that would enable him leave jail pending trial on second-degree murder.

Police say Hayes rammed his Hummer into Smith's SUV and then shot the retired NFL player in the street the night of April 9. Hayes also is charged with attempted second-degree murder in the wounding of Smith's wife, who was hit in both legs.

The defence says Hayes was not the aggressor, and that a witness saw Smith with a gun.

News from © The Associated Press, 2016
The Associated Press

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