Road-rage confrontation: Killer of ex-Saint faces sentencing

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The man who killed former New Orleans Saints star Will Smith in an argument following a traffic crash avoided a mandatory life sentence last year when a jury convicted him of manslaughter instead of second-degree murder.

But 29-year-old Cardell Hayes may still be locked away for a very long time if prosecutors get their way at Wednesday’s sentencing hearing.

New Orleans District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro has said he believes Hayes deserves a 60-year sentence: the maximum of 40 years for Smith’s death, followed by another 20 years for wounding Smith’s wife, Racquel.

The hearing in state District Judge Camille Buras’ courtroom in New Orleans is likely to echo the drama of Hayes’s December trial. That trial was attended by Saints stars past and present.