- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 1, 2016

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Lawyers for a man charged with second-degree murder in the shooting death of retired New Orleans Saints star Will Smith asked a judge Wednesday to give them a police report that doesn’t omit the names of witnesses.

Lawyers for Cardell Hayes say they are entitled to the witness identities and that the report has been redacted to the point that it’s difficult to understand. Prosecutors say they are worried about the safety of witnesses whose names are made public.

State District Judge Camille Buras said she wanted to read the police report before deciding whether to release it. It wasn’t clear when she would make her decision.

Police have said the shooting April 9 occurred after Hayes’s Hummer hit Smith’s Mercedes SUV from behind and they got into an argument.

Hayes’ defense lawyer, John Fuller, has said Hayes was not the aggressor and that a witness saw a gun in Smith’s possession. A loaded gun was found in Smith’s vehicle, police say.

Fuller has hinted at a self-defense claim and noted Hayes stayed at the scene of the shooting until police arrived.

Smith was shot seven times in the back and once along his side, the coroner has said. His wife, Racquel, was shot twice in the legs but survived. Hayes was also indicted on a charge of attempted second-degree murder in the wounding of Smith’s wife.

Smith was heralded as a leader on the Saints team that rebounded with the hurricane-stricken city and won the Super Bowl after the 2009 season. He stayed in the area after his 2012 retirement and was active with various charities in his adopted city.

Hayes owns a tow-truck company and last year played in a semiprofessional football league.

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