Former New Orleans Saints defensive end Will Smith who was fatally shot following a car accident may have been involved in a hit-and-run with the man accused of his murder.
The incident happened only minutes prior to the accident that led to Smith’s death.
A surveillance video from a restaurant shows a hit-and-run between two vehicles matching the descriptions of those driven by Will Smith and Cardell Hayes. It appears Smith’s vehicle rear-ended the Cardell Hayes’ Hummer approximately two blocks from where Hayes is accused of shooting and killing Smith. Smith then speeds off with the Hummer following in pursuit.
Hayes’ acting attorney, John Fuller, spoke about the incident in further detail.
“Prior to the actions that lead to Mr. Smith’s death, my client was involved in a hit-and-run,” Fuller said. “Someone hit him and failed to pull over. My client trailed behind this person in an effort to get their license plate number. My client also called 911.”
Hayes’ attorney suggested that a possible second gun on the scene could help exonerate Hayes. He did not mention whether or not that gun had been fired but insisted that Hayes felt threatened.
“It would be safe to say that not only did my client feel threatened, but citizens that were out there on that block felt threatened as well,” Fuller said Monday. “And I think the uncovering or unearthing of a second gun will lend itself to the defense of Mr. Hayes.
“Once everything becomes apparent, you’ll see why I’m saying that my client, legally speaking, is not guilty of second-degree murder.”
Hayes, 28, was arrested Sunday on a charge of second-degree murder and could face additional charges for the shooting of Will Smith’s wife. His bond was set at $1 million.