Jury selection begins in high-profile Saints star’s death case

FILE PHOTO - In this Dec. 9, 2012, file photo, New Orleans Saints defensive end Will Smith appears before an NFL football game against the New York Giants in East Rutherford, N.J. Cardell Hayes, the suspect in the death of Will Smith, said he shot in self-defense because he feared the retired New Orleans Saints star, although unarmed, was going for a gun as they argued over a car crash. "It was self-defense," Hayes can be heard telling detectives in a recording of an interview made hours after the shooting. The recording was played in court Friday, June 3, 2016. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun, File)

NEW ORLEANS (AP) – Questioning of potential jurors is set to begin in the trial of a man charged with fatally shooting former New Orleans Saints star Will Smith earlier this year.

Twenty-nine-year-old Cardell Hayes has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder in Smith’s death, and attempted second-degree murder in the wounding of Smith’s wife.

Monday’s trial opens with jury selection in New Orleans.

Smith died after being shot eight times the night of April 9.

Smith’s SUV had been rear-ended by a Hummer that was driven by Hayes. Jurors likely will be faced with conflicting testimony over which of the two drivers was the aggressor in the confrontation that followed.

 

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