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Man indicted in fatal shooting

Will Smith

Will Smith

NEW ORLEANS — A business owner and semi­professional football player was indicted Thursday on a second-degree murder charge in the shooting death of retired Saints defensive end Will Smith.

Cardell Hayes, 28, was also indicted on a charge of attempted second-degree murder because police say he wounded Smith's wife in the shooting. Hayes and Smith got into an argument after Hayes' Hummer hit Smith's Mercedes SUV from behind on April 9, police said. Smith's wife, Racquel, was in the passenger seat at the time.

Hayes' defense lawyer, John Fuller, has said Hayes was not the aggressor and that a witness saw a gun in Smith's possession. Police say a loaded gun was found in Smith's vehicle.

A lawyer for Smith's family, Peter Thomson, insists Smith never brandished or carried it. Thomson has called Hayes "enraged" during the altercation and portrayed his clients as the victims.

Smith, 34, was shot seven times in the back and once along his side, the coroner said. Racquel Smith, 34, was shot twice in the legs but survived.

Hayes was also indicted on charges of aggravated assault and aggravated damage to property. He has pleaded not guilty and his bond has been set at $1.75 million.

Smith was heralded as a leader on the Saints team that rebounded with the hurricane-stricken city and won the Super Bowl after the 2009 season. He stayed in the area after his 2012 retirement and was active with various charities in his adopted city.

Raiders and Vegas: Raiders owner Mark Davis says he wants to move the team to Las Vegas and is willing to spend a half-billion dollars as part of a deal for a new stadium in the city.

Davis upped the ante in a bid to move the team to Las Vegas, appearing alongside soccer great David Beckham and billionaire casino owner Sheldon Adelson before a committee studying the idea of a $1.4 billion stadium.

He told committee members he is not a billionaire but will put $500 million — with $200 million of that coming from an NFL loan — into funding the stadium to move the team to Las Vegas.

CONCUSSION DEAL CRITICS: Critics of the proposed $1 billion settlement of NFL concussion claims want a full U.S. appeals court in Philadelphia to review a recent decision that upheld the deal.

The challengers believe the lead players' lawyers negotiated away compensation for chronic traumatic encephalopathy because the science is still being developed. They consider CTE the "industrial disease" of football and say it was the key complaint in the initial lawsuit.

In their appeal, the critics' lawyers say the lead players' negotiators "traded" away the issue in exchange for enhanced compensation for less common problems, such as Parkinson's disease and dementia.

Jaguars: Suspended receiver Justin Blackmon pleaded guilty to a charge of driving under the influence in Oklahoma. Carter County filed documents saying Blackmon, 26, will be sentenced June 8. Authorities arrested the former Oklahoma State standout in December after an officer said he smelled alcohol in Blackmon's vehicle. The report says Blackmon failed a field sobriety test and refused a breath test.

Man indicted in fatal shooting 04/28/16 [Last modified: Thursday, April 28, 2016 10:35pm]
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