- Associated Press - Thursday, April 14, 2016

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - The Latest on the shooting death of former New Orleans Saints player Will Smith (all times local):

3:55 p.m.

Legal experts say an autopsy showing New Orleans football star Will Smith was shot eight times is powerful evidence as prosecutors build a case against Smith’s alleged killer.

But they also foresee credible self-defense arguments being made in the case of suspect Cardell Hayes. Hayes was jailed after Smith was shot to death Saturday night during a confrontation following an automobile crash.

Hayes’ lawyer has said Smith had a gun Saturday night when he was shot during a confrontation after his sport utility vehicle was rear-ended. A lawyer for Smith’s family says Smith was not brandishing or carrying a gun.

Police say a loaded, unfired gun was found in Smith’s vehicle.

Hayes is jailed on a charge second-degree murder.


8 a.m.

A minister and a former coach describe the man accused of gunning down former Saints player Will Smith as a soft-spoken man who always calls older women “ma’am” and was a team leader in high school.

Minister Sha’Teek Nobles and Lee Green, who coached Cardell Hayes from 2001 to 2005, take issue with Arizona Cardinals’ safety Tyrann Mathieu’s tweeted description of Hayes as “a hating … coward.”

Hayes is in jail, accused of firing eight bullets along the left side of Smith’s back.

Attorney Peter Thomson says Smith’s wife, Racquel, was shot in both legs, and Hayes stood over them afterward, yelling. He says Smith had driven his SUV around a Hummer that had stopped abruptly, and the Hummer than rammed their Mercedes hard enough to shatter the back windshield.

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