Verdict vacated; bond request next for ex-Saints star’s killer

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FILE – 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. A lawyer for the man who fatally shot former NFL star Will Smith in 2016 said Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021 he’ll seek the man’s release on bond now that a Louisiana appeals court has officially vacated the manslaughter conviction by a non-unanimous jury. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun, File)

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A lawyer says he’ll seek to have the killer of former NFL star Will Smith released on bond now that a state appeal court in New Orleans has officially vacated his manslaughter conviction.

The case of Cardell Hayes is now back in district court in New Orleans, where defense lawyer Eric Santana plans to seek Hayes’ release pending a new trial. Hayes has long insisted that he shot Smith in self-defense during a confrontation following a traffic crash in 2016.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in January that the conviction couldn’t stand because it came from a non-unanimous jury.

(Story via The Associated Press)

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