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U.S. Supreme Court throws out conviction of man found guilty in football star Will Smith's death

The U.S. Supreme Court has thrown out the conviction of Cardell Hayes, the man found guilty of killing New Orleans Saints football star, and Proctor High School grad, Will Smith.

Posted: Jan 11, 2021 5:50 PM
Updated: Jan 12, 2021 11:22 AM

NEW ORLEANS, N.Y. – The U.S. Supreme Court has thrown out the conviction of Cardell Hayes, the man found guilty of killing New Orleans Saints football star, and Proctor High School grad, Will Smith.

Cardell Hayes was originally charged with second-degree murder, but convicted on the lesser charge of manslaughter, after Smith was shot and killed during a traffic dispute in 2016 in New Orleans.

The jury was split 10 – 2 when Hayes was convicted in 2017. He was sentenced to 25 years in prison.

The Supreme Court vacated the verdict on Monday, Jan. 11, ruling that criminal verdicts must be unanimous.

The case will go back to appeals court for review. Hayes will get a new trial at a later date.

Smith attended Proctor High School in the late '90s and played for the Saints for eight years.

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