Cardell Hayes Indicted For Will Smith’s Murder, Attempted Murder Of Racquel Smith
Cardell Hayes, the man who shot and killed former Saints star Will Smith in an apparent case of road rage, was indicted on second-degree murder charges by a New Orleans grand jury on Thursday (April 28).
Hayes was also indicted on attempted second-degree murder charges for shooting Smith’s wife, Racquel Smith in the leg.
Hayes pleaded not guilty at his arraignment shortly after, and a judge set his bond at $1.75 million — $750,000 higher than Hayes’ previous bond. Hayes was also indicted on aggravated assault for shooting at Will Smith and criminal damage to property for crashing his vehicle into Smith’s.
The indictment highlighted a dramatic day in court, with prosecutors racing toward a grand jury vote and getting the formal charges just as Hayes attorneys had started questioning witnesses in a separate hearing aiming to free Hayes.
The indictment, which halted that questioning, was followed by a scuffle outside the courtroom that left two women in handcuffs, and by the unusual relocation of the hearing — and the corresponding media entourage — to a different judge’s courtroom.
Cardell Hayes pleaded not guilty Thursday (April 28) to murdering former Saints player Will Smith and shooting Smith’s wife Racquel.
The indictment also started the clock on what is likely to be months, and possibly years, of legal wrangling over what evidence and witnesses would be admitted in an eventual trial.
Hayes, who attended the hearing Thursday and blew kisses to his relatives in the courtroom, has been in jail since first arrested after police said he fatally shot Will Smith and wounded Racquel Smith late April 9 in the Lower Garden District.
For more on this case visit Nola.com.
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