Opening statements expected in trial over Saints star’s death

FILE PHOTO New Orleans Saints' Will Smith (91) warms up with teammates before a preseason NFL football game Sunday, Aug. 25, 2013, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

NEW ORLEANS (AP) – After a jury selection process that lasted well into the night, opening statements are expected in the trial of the man charged with murder after he shot retired New Orleans Saints star Will Smith.

Cardell Hayes faces life in prison if convicted on a second-degree murder charge. He’s also charged with attempted second-degree murder because Smith’s wife Racquel was wounded by gunfire.

The shots rang out during an argument that followed an April 9 traffic crash.

Twelve jurors and four alternates were chosen Monday.

Hayes’s defense lawyer has cast Smith as the aggressor in the argument.

Prosecutors have said Hayes willfully rammed Smith’s SUV – leading to the confrontation.

Surveillance video from near the scene showed Smith’s vehicle had earlier lightly struck Hayes’ vehicle.

 

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