Man held in death of for­mer NFL player McKnight

The Denver Post - - SPORTS - By The As­so­ci­ated Press

har­vey, la.» The Louisiana man who fa­tally shot ex-NFL player Joe McKnight dur­ing a road-rage dis­pute was jailed on a man­slaugh­ter charge as a sher­iff an­grily de­fended the in­ves­ti­ga­tion Tues­day, say­ing au­thor­i­ties “strate­gi­cally” waited for days to make the ar­rest be­cause they needed to find in­de­pen­dent wit­nesses.

Ron­ald Gasser, 54, was ini­tially ques­tioned af­ter Thurs­day’s shoot­ing, but he was re­leased with­out be­ing charged, draw­ing heated crit­i­cism from pro­test­ers who said race played a role in the in­ves­ti­ga­tion. Gasser, who is white, was ar­rested late Mon­day. McKnight was black.

Jef­fer­son Par­ish Sher­iff Newell Nor­mand pounded on the lectern dur­ing a news con­fer­ence ex­plain­ing the in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

“This isn’t about race. Not a sin­gle wit­ness said ... one racial slur was ut­tered,” the sher­iff said.

“Stand your ground” tested

B new or­leans» A Louisiana pros­e­cu­tor de­scribed the man who shot for­mer Saints player Will Smith as a rag­ing killer who first shot Smith’s wife in the legs, then shot an un­armed Smith once in the side and seven times in the back.

A de­fense lawyer for Cardell Hayes coun­tered that he fired in self-de­fense, fear­ing that the an­gry NFL star was fetch­ing a gun from his SUV’s glove box dur­ing their heated ar­gu­ment fol­low­ing a traf­fic ac­ci­dent in April.

At­tor­neys on both sides sug­gested Louisiana’s “stand your ground” law will be at is­sue dur­ing the trial of Hayes, 29, who faces life in prison if con­victed of se­cond-de­gree mur­der. He’s also charged with at­tempted mur­der af­ter wound­ing the re­tired NFL player’s wife, Rac­quel.

Video showed Smith’s SUV ap­pear­ing to bump into Hayes’ Hum­mer be­fore, blocks later, the Hum­mer slammed into Smith’s car. Both men then got out and ex­changed an­gry words as Hayes dis­played his hand­gun. Ex­actly what hap­pened next will be the focus of the trial.

Ex-CSU-Pue­blo player sus­pended

B green bay, wis.» Green Bay de­fen­sive tackle Mike Pen­nel has been sus­pended for the last four games of the reg­u­lar sea­son for vi­o­lat­ing the NFL’s sub­stance-abuse pol­icy af­ter serv­ing a four-game ban to start the year.

Pen­nel, 25, will be el­i­gi­ble to re­turn if the Pack­ers make the play­offs.

Pen­nel was an un­drafted free agent out of Colorado State Univer­sity at Pue­blo in 2014.

Colts’ Jack­son sus­pended 4 games

B in­di­anapo­lis» Colts line­backer D’Qwell Jack­son was sus­pended for four games for vi­o­lat­ing the NFL’s pol­icy on per­for­mance-en­hanc­ing sub­stances.

Foot­note.

Colin Kaeper­nick is keep­ing his start­ing job af­ter be­ing benched on Sun­day.

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