The United States Supreme Court has thrown out the manslaughter conviction of Cardell Hayes, who shot and killed former New Orleans Saints defensive end Will Smith in a traffic incident in April 2016.
Via Ramon Antonio Vargas of NOLA.com, the case was tossed on the heels of a Supreme Court case last year that concluded that split jury verdicts are unconstitutional. Hayes was convicted by a New Orleans jury in 2017 in a 10-2 decision against. Hayes was sentenced to 25 years in prison for the incident.
The Supreme Court decision on split jury verdicts applied to future cases and any cases still under active appeal, which is why Hayes’ conviction was subject to the statute.
Hayes and Smith engaged in an argument after their vehicles collided. Hayes then fatally shot Smith and his wife Racquel was also injured in the incident. Hayes claimed he acted in self defense.
The likely road ahead for Hayes will include a new trial at the local level.