Los Angeles (AFP) - The man who admitted to shooting former New York Jets running back Joe McKnight in a road rage incident in December was charged with second-degree murder on Thursday, prosecutors in Louisiana said.
The Jefferson Parish District Attorney's office announced that a grand jury had handed down Thursday's indictment of 54-year-old Ronald Gasser, who faces life in prison if convicted.
Gasser was initially charged with manslaughter in the death of McKnight, which sparked outrage and claims that Gasser, who is white, received preferential treatment.
"Subsequent to that arrest, the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office and the Jefferson Parish District Attorney's Office continued working together in a collaborative effort to develop additional evidence regarding the case," the district attorney's office said in a statement. "Today's indictment comes as a result of that joint effort."
Gasser shot McKnight as the former NFL fourth-round draft selection approached his car. The two had cut one another off with their cars several times prior to the altercation.
After shooting McKnight, witnesses said Gasser stood over McKnight and watched him die.
After starring at the University of Southern California, McKnight played for four years in the NFL with the Jets and the Kansas City Chiefs.
McKnight totaled 505 rushing yards on 113 carries and caught 23 passes for 241 yards in 41 NFL games.
He played last season for the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the Canadian Football League.