Convicted Killer of Former Saints Player Released on Bail
Cardell Hayes, the man convicted of killing former Saints defensive end Will Smith, was released on bail pending another court hearing on the murder case.
He has spent over four years in prison after the slaying of Smith after a road-rage incident on Magazine Street in New Orleans in 2016. Hayes was convicted of shooting Smith eight times and wounding his wife, Racquel, after a fender-bender turned deadly.
During the trial, Hayes said he shot in self defense. The jury returned a split verdict (10-2) of manslaughter in Smith’s killing and attempted manslaughter of his wife. He was sentenced to 25 years in prison.
In April of this year, the Supreme Court ruled non-unanimous verdicts should be struck down and applied it retroactively. After that decision was made, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals tossed Hayes's conviction since it was a split verdict.
Hayes will be getting a new trial. Judge Camille Buras set his bond at $225,000. The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals said Hayes would not be held until his next trial since his verdict was now deemed unconstitutional.