Cardell Hayes sentenced to 25 years for killing Will Smith

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Cardell Hayes learned his sentence for killing former Saints defensive end Will Smith a little more than a year after shooting Smith following a traffic accident and altercation in New Orleans.

Hayes was convicted of manslaughter for killing Smith and Judge Camille Buras sentenced him to 25 years in prison on Thursday. Hayes was also sentenced to 15 years for attempted manslaughter for shooting Raquel Smith, Will Smith’s widow, but the two terms will run concurrently. Hayes had argued he acted in self-defense when he shot Smith.

“This case has presented a highly unique and emotional set of facts,” Buras said, via the New Orleans Times-Picayune. “The jury did reject the state’s theory that the defendant had acted with specific intent to kill Will Smith or Racquel Smith. The jury likewise rejected the defense’s theory that Cardell Hayes had acted in self-defense. Many things have been said regarding this case. The court does feel compelled to say how profoundly sad and tragic this case is, that three (Smith) children have lost their father, a wife her husband, and a family their cherished loved one. The Hayes family also has experienced loss. However, we are a society that functions based on the adherence to law. Whatever happened that night, this court finds it does not warrant what happened to Mr. and Mrs. Smith.”

A spokesman for district attorney Leon Canizzaro’s office said the D.A. and the Smith family are disappointed in the length of the sentence.

19 responses to “Cardell Hayes sentenced to 25 years for killing Will Smith

  1. Hayes could have had another 10 years knocked off his sentence had he used the ever popular argument used by the bros nowadays that his rage and actions should be understood due to being oppressed by a discriminatory and inequitable white supremacist controlled capitalistic society. At heart Smith’s murder is whiteys fault.

  2. If you read the transcript of Hayes’ testimony it’s plain his own counsel couldn’t have wanted him on the stand, he convicted himself.

  3. Only 25 years for killing a man and also shooting his wife. Glad he is going to jail but the sentence seems lenient for what happened.

  4. Welcome to Louisiana law and courts. The only state with Parishes and Napoleonic Code.

    Smoke a blunt 3 years, kill a man 25.

    Oh and better not forget ya seatbelt.

  5. The previous play is under review. says:
    Apr 20, 2017 5:32 PM
    Only 25 years for killing a man and also shooting his wife. Glad he is going to jail but the sentence seems lenient for what happened.
    ~~~~~
    It seems that way, but people have been convicted of pre-meditated murder and gotten less. Even though the loss of life is the same, this guy was convicted of manslaughter…not murder. I suspect the fame of the victim impacted the sentence even though it shouldn’t

  6. $30K-$60K/yr to keep someone in prison depending on the state.

    So Mr. Hayes will run up a $2.5M+ tab by the end.

    No wonder this country is broke as a joke.

  7. I’m conflicted if it should’ve been more time or not as both parties were at fault.

    Part of the problem is that if Will Smith had acted differently on that night none of this would have happened the same goes for Hayes.

  8. dawoger says:
    Apr 20, 2017 5:21 PM
    Hayes could have had another 10 years knocked off his sentence had he used the ever popular argument used by the bros nowadays that his rage and actions should be understood due to being oppressed by a discriminatory and inequitable white supremacist controlled capitalistic society. At heart Smith’s murder is whiteys fault.

    —–
    Your ignorance says it all

  9. Our judicial system is broken badly…after a college guy gets only six months in jail despite being found guilty of raping a young lady (with witnesses, no less), somehow a 25-year sentence for this is somewhat unsurprising…Sad!

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