When one person is shot and killed, as former New Orleans Saints player Will Smith was just days ago, there will always be two sides of the story. The defense for Cardell Hayes, the man who shot and killed Smith following a vehicular accident in New Orleans, will claim he was acting in self-defense. Now a lawyer representing the passenger in Hayes’ car, Kevin Oneale, is saying the same, going so far as to call Hayes’ act a “justifiable homicide.”
“Smith had a gun and was going to shoot it and Cardell may have saved both of their lives,” attorney Tanzanike Ruffin, representing Oneale, said, as reported by Pro Football Talk on Thursday. “In my mind, this is justifiable homicide. We assume Will Smith is a saint but he’s not.”
This will clearly be the way the defense attorneys handle this upcoming trial, which should come as little surprise. The question is whether there will be a way to support that claim in the court of law. For now it is nothing more than hearsay from lawyers, and it is the obvious legal strategy to adopt at this point in time. Though it will be up to a jury to decide if that is a strong enough defense, it will be up to Ruffin and the legal team representing Hayes there is enough evidence and trustworthy testimony to back that up in court.
Smith did reportedly have a loaded gun inside his car at the time of the accident and shooting, and this will very likely be used by the defense in court. Security footage of the incident also showed Smith’s car hitting Hayes’ before fleeing the scene, which is believed to have led to the fatal moment later. The reaction to this incident has helped shed light on a larger issue within the city of New Orleans, as pointed out by Saints quarterback Drew Brees and New Orleans native Tyrann Mathieu.