Will Smith's killer sentenced to 25 years in prison

The New Orleans man convicted of manslaughter and attempted manslaughter in the shooting death of former Saint Will Smith and the wounding of Smith’s wife Racquel will spend 25 years in prison.

The sentence was handed down on Thursday to Cardell Hayes, according to the New Orleans Times-Picayune. Hayes was given 25 years without the possibility of parole for manslaughter, and 15 years for attempted manslaughter for the shooting of Smith’s wife, who survived. The sentences can be served concurrently, a judge ruled.

Will Smith, who was shot and killed in 2016. (AP)
Will Smith, who was shot and killed in 2016. (AP)

The Times-Picayune said Criminal District Judge Camille Buras could have sentenced Hayes to 20-60 years. The judge opted to give Hayes far less than the maximum sentence. Buras pointed out the jury rejected that Hayes had specific intent to kill Will or Racquel Smith, but the jury also rejected that Hayes had acted in self-defense, the Times-Picayune said.

“Both the district attorney and the Smith family are disappointed in the length of the sentence,” assistant district attorney Christopher Bowman said, according to the Times-Picayune.

Hayes shot Smith during a road-rage confrontation on April 9, 2016. Smith played nine seasons with the Saints, had 67.5 career sacks and was part of the Saints’ 2009 Super Bowl championship team.

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Frank Schwab is the editor of Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at shutdown.corner@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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