No venue change for trial of ex-NFL star’s killer
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A Louisiana judge refused Monday to move the scheduled April retrial of the man who fatally shot former New Orleans Saints star Will Smith in 2016.
Prosecutors had sought to move the trial out of New Orleans, citing publicity surrounding Smith’s December 2016 trial. The jury in that trial convicted Hayes of manslaughter in Smith’s death and attempted manslaughter in the wounding of Smith’s wife. But the vote was 10-2 and the verdict was later overturned after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled the non-unanimous verdicts were unconstitutional.
Court records show Judge Camille Buras on Monday denied the motion for a change of venue.
Hayes remains free on bond. He has pleaded not guilty and insisted at his earlier trial that he shot Smith in self-defense. His retrial is currently set for April 4.