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Apr 25, 2024 3:04 pm

Man who killed ex-Saints DE Will Smith gets 25 years

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The man who shot and killed former Saints defensive end Will Smith in 2016 received a 25-year prison sentence on Thursday in New Orleans.

Cardell Hayes, 36, was convicted of manslaughter in January for shooting Smith eight times during a confrontation over a car accident.

Smith, 34, played nine seasons with the Saints after being selected in the first round of the 2004 NFL Draft. He was a Pro Bowl selection in 2006 and a key member of the Super Bowl XLIV championship squad that helped to raise the city’s spirits in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

Smith’s daughter, Lisa, who is now a teenager, was among the people who spoke in court prior to Thursday’s sentencing.

“Mr. Hayes, you ruined my life,” she said, per The Associated Press. “You took my father away from me.”

Hayes was originally convicted of the crime and sentenced to 25 years in 2016. However, the jury vote at that time was 10-2 and the conviction was later overturned after the U.S. Supreme Court banned non-unanimous verdicts.

Smith started 120 of his 139 games with New Orleans from 2004-12, registering 67.5 sacks, 20 forced fumbles, two interceptions and 463 tackles.

–Field Level Media

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