The Latest: Smith’s widow: daughter fears killer’s release

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The Latest on hearings for Cardell Hayes, who was convicted of manslaughter in the shooting death of former New Orleans Saints star Will Smith (all times local):

3:30 p.m.

The widow of former New Orleans Saints star Will Smith says their daughter fears the day his killer gets out of jail.

Racquel Smith was among many giving “victim impact” statements Wednesday at a pre-sentence hearing for 29-year-old Cardell Hayes, convicted of manslaughter in Smith’s death and attempted manslaughter for wounding Racquel on April 9, 2016.

Hayes could get up to 60 years in prison. Formal sentencing is expected later this week.

A tearful Racquel sometimes aimed angry words at Hayes, who sat quietly, watching her testimony. She accused him of lying at his December trial about details of the 2016 confrontation, including his claim that Smith punched him that night.

Coach Sean Payton also testified, talking at length of Smith’s passion for his team and family.

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1:50 p.m.

A Louisiana judge has denied a new trial for the killer of retired New Orleans Saints star Will Smith.

State District Judge Camille Buras rejected numerous defense arguments for a new trial, including the claim of a newly found witness who said he heard more than two weapons fired the night Smith was killed.

The ruling clears the way for the sentencing of Cardell Hayes later this week. Hayes faces up to 60 years in prison for manslaughter and attempted manslaughter after shooting Smith and wounding Smith’s wife, Raquel, during a dispute over traffic.

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11:40 a.m.

A prosecutor is calling a newly found defense witness in the killing of former New Orleans Saints star Will Smith “certifiably insane.”

Assistant District Attorney Jason Napoli used the term after the sometimes emotional and rambling testimony of Michael Burnside. The bushy-haired, bearded witness appeared near tears at times and twice let slip a profanity on the stand as he insisted that he heard two guns fired when Smith was killed.

Burnside was called by the defense Wednesday to support a motion for a new trial for Cardell Hayes, who faces up to 60 years in prison for manslaughter and attempted manslaughter in the shootings of Smith and his wife following a traffic dispute.

Defense attorney John Fuller sharply criticized Napoli’s characterization of the new witness. He told the judge: “Just because people are different from you, doesn’t make them liars.”

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11 a.m.

A prosecutor is poking holes in the testimony of a new witness in the killing of retired New Orleans Saints star Will Smith.

Put on the stand to support a defense motion for a new trial for Cardell Hayes, the witness insisted he heard gunfire from two different weapons that night, first “baps” from a smaller weapon, then “booms” from another gun.

But Assistant District Attorney Jason Napoli noted that Michael Burnside said he doesn’t own a clock or a calendar, and couldn’t be certain of the time and date of the shooting he heard.

Napoli noted that in fact, another…

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