Will Smith’s widow calls his killer’s 25-year sentence too lenient

AP

Cardell Hayes was sentenced to 25 years in prison for manslaughter on Thursday in the death of former Saints defensive end Will Smith, and Smith’s widow says that’s not enough.

Racquel Smith released a statement criticizing Judge Camille Buras for the sentence, saying Hayes received compassion that he didn’t show to Smith.

“My family and I are extremely disappointed with today’s sentencing and the leniency showed by Judge Buras for the defendant,” Racquel Smith said in the statement. “While we know nothing will ever bring Will back, we were hopeful that Judge Buras would have issued a stronger sentence to more justly reflect both the nature of the crimes and the tremendous loss and pain that my family has suffered as a result of Mr. Hayes’ violent actions on the night of April 9, 2016.

“This ordeal has been a nightmare for me and my family. There are no winners here today. Today’s sentencing does not bring back Will and leaves another child [Hayes’ son] to grow up without a father. I pray for the other families of New Orleans that are dealing with the same tragedy that comes with the loss of life at the hands of senseless violence. Will loved this city and we must do better together to enact serious change so that Will’s unnecessary murder is not in vain.

“My heart is full of gratitude for the entire staff of the New Orleans District’s Attorney’s Office and the members of the Police Department who worked tirelessly on this case. I am particularly grateful to District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro and his assistant district attorneys Jason Napoli and Laura Rodrigue for their hard work in presenting this case with such precision and passion. Their ability to convey the facts of the case while also caring so deeply about justice for Will and my family is something I will never forget. And to all of those who continued to pray alongside us through this very difficult time, we heard you and we are so appreciative for the continued outpouring of love and support.

“I will continue to shine my light for my Superman. Each day, we continue to heal and work through our pain and feelings of enormous loss. Will’s dedication to his family, his love for his community and his desire to live life to the fullest will continue to inspire me, Willie, Lisa, Wynter and everyone else who loved him. We are hopeful that we can finally focus on what brings us joy — remembering Will for the man he was and the life he lived. We will carry our memories of Will with us every day for the rest of our lives.”

Buras could have sentenced Smith to anywhere from 20 to 60 years in prison for manslaughter and attempted manslaughter. Racquel Smith was also shot in the incident, which started as a confrontation between Hayes and Smith over a minor traffic accident.

29 responses to “Will Smith’s widow calls his killer’s 25-year sentence too lenient

  1. It really was a sad day for the the loved ones of Will Smith. We live in a country where judges more often then not show more compassion for the perpetrators of violent crimes then the victims whose nightmares never end.

  2. 25 years…. He’ll be out in 8-10 years…
    Bogus sentence by judge…. Should have given him the max!!!

  3. For all of those complaining about the cost of incarceration: The Innocence Project has used incontrovertible DNA evidence to prove that 380+ people were wrongly convicted. What is the societal cost of jailing, or worse, executing, an innocent person?

  4. And if Will hadn’t participated in the road rage incident himself to begin with he would still be here. It is a sad day for all involved but why does she seem to forget his part in the incident. Prayers for all involved.

  5. jonathankrobinson424 says:
    Apr 21, 2017 7:44 AM
    Yup…..he’ll be out in 10 years or less with good behavior. Not a fair sentence for killing a human being.
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    Exactly. He killed Will and almost killed his wife, she got shot in the leg.

  6. “25 years…. He’ll be out in 8-10 years…”

    Even 8-10 years in a prison like that is an eternity which will ruin your life. Even if he got out that early he has no future.

  7. It’s what you get with democrat judges. Smith may not want you to hear it, but democrats represent weakness.

  8. jonathankrobinson424 says:
    Apr 21, 2017 7:44 AM
    Yup…..he’ll be out in 10 years or less with good behavior. Not a fair sentence for killing a human being.

    45 6
    Report comment

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    He has to serve 85% of his sentence before he’s eligible for parole, so at a bare minimum he’s serving 21+ years.

  9. Cool, now I have to pay for this dude to hang out and get three meals a day for probably less than 10 years. If you take a life you get your life taken. I hate the justice system.

  10. “Why is there any option on sentencing for murder other than life behind bars? Take a life – give your life.”

    I think the main problem here is wrongful convictions, of which there have been many in this country that DNA evidence later cleared.

  11. Hayes was convicted of manslaughter, not murder. The sentence for the actual charge is not lenient. Had he been on trial solely for murder, there’s a good chance he would’ve walked because the evidence didn’t support that charge. That doesn’t satisfy Mrs. Smith or her family, but that’s why there are varying levels of criminal charges regarding loss of life.

  12. The Innocence Project has used incontrovertible DNA evidence to prove that 380+ people were wrongly convicted.
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    Okay …380 out of a total of ?????(how many) convinctions? And over how many years?

  13. larryallensjockstrap says:
    Apr 21, 2017 9:20 AM
    Sports Illustrated had an article detailing the other side of the story. Very interesting. I have no idea what really happen and neither do any of you guys.
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    And neither does Cardell Hayes. I read that story that came out before the trial I also read the transcript of Hayes testimony and he saw things no one else did, including an unarmed Smith shooting at him. Not only is the sentence surprisingly light but the sentence for shooting Racquel Smith runs concurrently.

  14. While it should have never come down to killing somebody – if you read the details of the incident. Will Smith wasn’t overly innocent here, he was acting like a drunk dbag and tried to big time this guy in a major way, culminating in him drawing his gun on the wrong guy. Will Smith shouldn’t be dead because of Will Smith. But lets lionize him because he played in the NFL..

  15. Witness testimony is flawed. 2 ppl can see the same thing and have different accounts of what happened. Just like the Hernandez situation, another child grows up without their father in their life. That is the real victim imo.

  16. harrisonhits2 says:
    Apr 21, 2017 9:12 AM

    “25 years…. He’ll be out in 8-10 years…”

    Even 8-10 years in a prison like that is an eternity which will ruin your life. Even if he got out that early he has no future.
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    How’s his future compare to Wil Smith’s future?

  17. shogunassasin30 says:
    Apr 21, 2017 12:28 PM
    While it should have never come down to killing somebody – if you read the details of the incident. Will Smith wasn’t overly innocent here, he was acting like a drunk dbag and tried to big time this guy in a major way, culminating in him drawing his gun on the wrong guy. Will Smith shouldn’t be dead because of Will Smith. But lets lionize him because he played in the NFL..

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    This… I mean did no one in the comment section read the entire story? Smith rear ended the Hayes, Hayes pulls over since there’s now been a accident and then Smith runs off. Hayes follows him and hits him back. Smith gets out, they argue a fight breaks out and Smith gets shot.

    Smith didn’t have to die but he certainly wasn’t acting like a Saint that night, more like an A-hole.. Anyone would have been pissed to be a victim of a hit and run, would they have done anything though when they realize they’ve been hit by a former NFL lineman whose ready to beat your ass like it was your fault? Probably not..

  18. I think 25 years is sufficient. Like she said, no punishment will bring him back. If after 25 years he does not show remorse, then he will commit another crime, and serve time for that. Its not a life sentence, but tge state will take any sense of life he has anyway. Its a tragic story. But should he do life in prison over an act of rage? This isnt aaron hernandez, who was a cold piece of garbage down to the core. This guy??? Tine will tell if remorse is truthful.

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