60-year sen­tence for killer sought

The Denver Post - - SPORTS OFF & RUNNING - By Kevin McGill

new or­leans» New Or­leans’ district at­tor­ney said he’ll seek 60 years in prison for the man who killed New Or­leans Saints star Will Smith — the max­i­mum 40 years for man­slaugh­ter, plus an­other 20 years for at­tempted man­slaugh­ter in the wound­ing of Smith’s wife.

“We will do our gut-level best to get the judge to im­pose the max­i­mum sen­tence of 60 years,” Leon Can­niz­zaro said Mon­day.

Cardell Hayes was found guilty Sun­day night af­ter in­sist­ing that he fired only be­cause the re­tired NFL player was drunk and vi­o­lent and had grabbed a gun fol­low­ing their col­li­sion in traf­fic last April.

No one else tes­ti­fied Smith ever held a gun. A loaded 0.9-mm semi-au­to­matic hand­gun was found but un­used in­side Smith’s car.

Smith, a 34-year-old fa­ther of three, was a de­fen­sive leader on the Saints team that lifted spir­its in New Or­leans af­ter Hur­ri­cane Ka­t­rina hit in 2005. He helped carry the team to a win­ning sea­son in 2006 and a Su­per Bowl vic­tory four years later.

Hayes, 29, will be sen­tenced on Feb. 17. State Judge Camille Buras will have the op­tion of im­pos­ing less than the max­i­mum sen­tences, and could or­der them served con­cur­rently. But the D.A. said the crime war­rants max­i­mum sen­tences, served one af­ter the other.

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