Convicted Killer Of Former Saints Star Asks For New Trial
On December 11, 2016 Cardell Hayes was convicted of manslaughter and attempted manslaughter in connection with an incident that took the life of former New Orleans Saints star Will Smith.
The hearing on Hayes' sentencing was supposed to begin today. However, Tuesday, April 18 attorneys for Hayes requested a new trial in the case. Their reason was "newly discovered evidence" according to court reports.
In a story published by NOLA.com and the Times-Picayune newspaper reporter Ken Daley suggested that the new evidence was in the form of what could be described as an auditory witness. In other words, a person has come forward saying he heard the incident but did not see the incident.
According to the Dayley story, a former U.S. Army soldier reported hearing gunshots from two different weapons at the time the incident occurred. However, during Hayes trial experts from law enforcement told the court that evidence recovered at the scene indicated that only one weapon had been fired.
I suppose it could be possible to differentiate between the sounds of two different weapons however I personally would be skeptical. The potential witness in the case is not regarded as an expert in guns and ballistics. I'd have a tough time buying into that theory that a person could distinguish between two similar weapons from over one mile away.
I am not suggesting it can't be done but I would believe in this case the margin of error and the burden of proof would be very hard to overcome.
It is unclear at this time whether this new motion will delay the sentencing hearing which was scheduled to begin today. However, the presiding judge is expected to rule on the motion as early as this morning.