*Cardell Hayes was sentenced to 25 years in prison Thursday (April 20) following his manslaughter conviction for killing former New Orleans Saints defensive lineman Will Smith.
He was also sentenced to 15 years in prison for attempted manslaughter, to be served concurrently, after wounding Smith’s wife, Racquel Smith, in the same incident, reports the Associated Press.
Hayes had faced up to 60 consecutive years on both manslaughter and attempted manslaughter, though the prosecution had originally sought a second-degree murder conviction and a mandatory life sentence. A jury ultimately chose manslaughter charges instead, and Louisiana Judge Camille Buras decided against the full 60-year sentence. Hayes’ defense had also asked for a new trial, but it was denied.
“The district attorney and the Smith family are disappointed with the sentence,” prosecutor Christopher Bowman said after the sentencing.
Hayes shot and killed Smith in April 2016 after a traffic dispute between the two men in New Orleans. Hayes maintained throughout the trial and sentencing that he had acted in self-defense, though the loaded gun Smith had in his car at the time of the incident was found to have been unused on the night in question.
“I apologize for their loss,” Hayes said on Thursday, telling Raquel Smith he wished the incident had never taken place.