In 2014, he pleaded guilty for illegally carrying a firearm and drug paraphernalia and was sentenced to six months’ probation. But he never played in college. Tyrann Mathieu, a safety for the Arizona Cardinals, said he knows of Hayes and the day after Smith’s death Mathieu tweeted of the alleged killer, “He been a hating (expletive) coward ... Never knew he'd grow up to be a killer tho ... May you get what you deserve coward.’’. And he is a football player whose once-promising career appears to be over. "All that’s up in the air.’’. Cardell Hayes filed a motion Monday seeking a new trial in the 2016 gun death of retired Saints defensive captain Will Smith. A photo of former Saints Pierre Thomas and Will Smith with friend Billy Ceravolo 1 hour before the fatal shooting. Off and on between 2005 and 2011, Hayes attended Southeastern Louisiana, a university about 60 miles from New Orleans, a school spokesman said. At 6-6 and 300 pounds, Hayes is among the biggest players in the league and started on the defensive line for the Kings. Cardell Hayes, man convicted in Will Smith death, files appeal Late Saturday night, after Will and … pic.twitter.com/hHNiuS6rgI. “Cardell Hayes was guilty when he walked up those steps.” About the Author Tyler R. Tynes is a Staff Writer for SB Nation where he covers the intersection of race, politics and sports. Sources have now confirmed that Billy Ceravolo, one of the officers named in the suit, was out to dinner with Smith and former-Saints' RB Pierre Thomas last night "not long before the shooting". By choosing I Accept, you consent to our use of cookies and other tracking technologies. Hayes returned to football last year with the Crescent City Kings, a member of the Gridiron Developmental Football League, which started play in 2010 and includes 27 teams based mostly in the South. “That could’ve paid for a good education, so on and so forth.’’. Smith was killed and his wife sustained non-life-threatening gunshot injuries Saturday night in what police described as a road rage incident. According to the report, Scout.com at one time had Hayes ranked among the top prep football players in the entire state in 2004. Thanks to excellent police work, we now know who the other driver was: Cardell Hayes, 28. Cardell Hayes usually laces up his cleats, straps on his helmet and joins his team at practice in pursuit of opportunities he neglected in the past. Cardell Hayes was charged with second degree murder, but convicted by a jury on a lesser charge of manslaughter. Hayes’ father, mentally ill, was shot to death by New Orleans police. Our friends at the Time-Picayune unearthed that Hayes was once a high school football start in New Orleans. Hayes was a member of the fictional ‘MC State’ football team Tatum’s character Greg Jenko played on. What we do not know is why he did this. One of those players is O’Neal, the passenger in Hayes' car and a former high school teammate. How Cardell Hayes went from football prospect to murder suspect NEW ORLEANS — On the outskirts of this city, in a dimly lit lot, members of a minor-league football … In 2016, Cardell Hayes was convicted of manslaughter in the fatal shooting of retired New Orleans Saints defensive leader Will Smith. Police Say Hayes Rear-Ended Will Smith & Then Shot & Killed Him. COVID-19 in DC, Maryland and Virginia: Data on cases, deaths and vaccines, Winter storm timeline: Snow, ice Wednesday night into Friday, Investigating helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant, Brady cements legacy with 7th Super Bowl title as Buccaneers blow out Chiefs 31-9, DC-area man performs national anthem in ASL at Super Bowl LV, CDC study finds two masks are better than one against COVID-19. Earlier in the day, one of his uncles, Matt O’Neal, said until a few months ago Kevin O’Neal lived at the uncle’s house in New Orleans before leaving without saying where he was headed. Hayes testified that he was acting in self-defense and that Smith had a gun. Questions remain about happened that evening and how Hayes went from a football prospect to accused killer. NEW ORLEANS -- Cardell Hayes, the man convicted of shooting and killing former Saints player Will Smith has been sentenced to 25 years in prison, Judge Camille Buras ruled Thursday. Surveillance video from businesses in the Lower Garden District shows what appears to be Hayes' rust-red Hummer H2 being bumped by Smith's Mercedes SUV. He is the father of a 5-year-old son. He would spend 6 months in prison following a long legal battle. Saturday night at Sake Cafe, Smith’s dinner companions included Billy Ceravolo, a former New Orleans police officer sued in the shooting of Hayes’ father. Update: Hayes' lawyer confirms he received multi-million $ settlement from city after NOPD shot his father in strange 2005 incident. New Orleans Saints Coach Sean Payton, right, and Will Smith’s widow, Racquel, walked into court Saturday for the trial of Cardell Hayes. During the trial, video evidence was said to have shown Hayes' father backing away and attempting to flee. Washington said he has yet to learn whether O’Neal rejoin the team before the Crescent City Kings open their season against Lee County Tiger-Cats of Tupelo, Miss., on May 21 in New Orleans. In 2012, he pleaded guilty to a weapons charge and possession of codeine syrup and served six months in prison. Hayes is listed as the executive of Xtreme Towing and Recovery, a company incorporated in 2014, according to Louisiana Secretary of State records. Images obtained from Hayes Facebook account also show that the former-prep star was also an extra in the hit movie 22 Jump Street, featuring Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum. Saints Twitter reactions to Tampa’s 31-9 Super Bowl win, Saints fans handled this surprisingly well tbh, Fleur-de-Links, February 10: Drew Brees speaks on late coaching legend, Here are your daily New Orleans Saints links, Will Smith Shot, Killed in New Orleans Following Car Accident, Will Smith Update: State PD Will Not Investigate, Defense Granted Motion, Cardell Hayes Apparently Appeared in 22 Jump Street, Saints not viewed as “best fit” for two of their top free agents, Taysom Hill stepped up when called upon, all things considered, Tre’Quan Smith quietly had his most productive and efficient year as a Saint. The family of Cardell Hayes leaves the Orleans Parish Criminal Court after the jury convicts Hayes of manslaughter in the shooting death of former Saints player Will Smith in New Orleans, La. Cardell Hayes, who faces up to 60 years in prison for manslaughter and attempted manslaughter, said he understands the pain the three Smith … But there was no rust-red Hummer H2, usually the most visible car when the Crescent City Kings gather for practice, because the vehicle and its now-infamous owner remain in the custody of the New Orleans Police Department. Hayes, who waited at the scene before police arrived and arrested him, is being held on $1 million bail as speculation about who he is grows. At 8:00 AM this morning, New Orleans police officially booked him, charging him with second-degree murder. To learn more or opt-out, read our Cookie Policy. “I’m sorry to see Mr. Smith lose his life, just as well as to see Cardell’s life in limbo,’’ said Washington, who has instructed his players not to talk to the news media about the shooting. There were subsequent encounters between the police and Hayes. However, here are three moves they may come to regret in the near future. In 2011, the family sued and right before the case was set to go to trial, Hayes' family settled out of court with New Orleans PD for an undisclosed amount of money, though the sum was said to be large. Now his football career may be gone for good. Tragedy struck New Orleans, the Saints organization and the NFL late Saturday night when former-Saint Will Smith was murdered in cold blood after Smith and another driver exchanged words following a traffic collision, words that soon turned violent, resulting in the shooting death of Smith. Notifications can be turned off anytime in the browser settings. On April 9, 2016, Smith was involved in a traffic collision in which a Hummer, driven by 28-year-old Cardell Hayes, was rear-ended by Smith's Mercedes SUV in an ongoing confrontation that allegedly started with Smith's vehicle rear-ending the Hummer. Moments later the vehicles are seen blocks away where the shooting occurred. In 2012, Hayes was arrested for and subsequently plead guilty to a weapons charge and possession of codeine syrup. How Cardell Hayes went from football prospect to murder suspect NEW ORLEANS — On the outskirts of this city, in a dimly lit lot, members of a minor-league football … The 28-year old made headlines late Saturday night by gunning down former-Saints’ DE Will Smith after a traffic collision in New Orleans. Hayes, 28, is facing second-degree murder charges and the prospect of life in prison for allegedly shooting to death retired NFL standout Will Smith Saturday night. Hayes … “Didn’t take football as serious as he could have,’’ Washington said. Police have indicated they think it was a coincidence. “A lot of questions aren’t answered,’’ said Washington, who indicated that football is a secondary concern with Hayes' freedom and ability to raise his 5-year-old son at stake. Schools such as LSU and Florida took notice of the talent, though “the Times-Picayune notes it’s not clear where Hayes ended up playing college football, if anywhere,” according to Deapsin. Police said they interviewed O’Neal after the shooting. Hayes has been arrested and is being held at the New Orleans Parish Prison. We use cookies and other tracking technologies to improve your browsing experience on our site, show personalized content and targeted ads, analyze site traffic, and understand where our audiences come from. He has a girlfriend, a sister and a mother. Washington said he was a stalwart on a team that finished 10-2 last season and with the league’s top-ranked defense. 3 offseason moves the New Orleans Saints may already regret. As the hours tick by, more information is coming out about Hayes, which begs the question— who is Cardell Hayes? The matter of his father’s death has surfaced again. Saints add a new quarterback in CBS mock draft, Saints go back to defense in NFL.com 3-round mock. Cardell Hayes usually laces up his cleats, straps on his helmet and joins his team at practice in pursuit of opportunities he neglected in the past. The first five days of the murder trial of New Orleans semipro football player Cardell Hayes for the death of former Saints defensive end Will Smith have featured several key developments. He was mentally ill. @wdsu. Smith was killed in a traffic confrontation in New Orleans last April. @wdsu, More: Hayes father was wielding a knife on St. Charles Ave when cops shot and killed him. This testimony appeared to conflict with Hayes' prior statements. NEW ORLEANS — On the outskirts of this city, in a dimly lit lot, members of a minor-league football team parked their cars Tuesday night. … Washington, head coach of the Kings, said he thinks Hayes had the ability to play professional indoor football and maybe even in the Canadian Football League. In 2004, the year before he graduated Warren Easton Charter … Hayes was the man behind the wheel of the Hummer H2 that rear-ended Smith’s SUV and the man who pulled the trigger, ending Smith’s life. Cardell Hayes was convicted of manslaughter for fatally shooting retired New Orleans Saints football player Will Smith after their cars collided. Over 12 officers responded, first peppers spraying Hayes' father before shots were eventually fired. Ronald Gasser was arrested Monday, and is being held without bail, records state. The U.S. Supreme Court vacated on Monday a manslaughter conviction for Cardell Hayes in connection to the shooting of former New Orleans Saints defensive lineman Will … Please also read our Privacy Notice and Terms of Use, which became effective December 20, 2019. The man accused of killing Will Smith and wounding his wife, Racquel, is a former New Orleans prep football star. A decade earlier, when Hayes was a senior at Warren Easton High School in New Orleans, one recruiting service ranked him among the top-50 college prospects in Louisiana. The U.S. Supreme Court has thrown out the manslaughter conviction for the man who shot former New Orleans Saints star Will Smith to death in 2016. Accused shooter Cardell Hayes, 28, is a former New Orleans prep football star who never managed to make it beyond the Big Easy. They are considered loyal, protective and potentially dangerous — characteristics that apparently Hayes shares. After contemplating trying out for the football team, he decided to focus on studies, according to his former roommate, Melvin Russell. “I think all that’s in the dark will come to the light,’’ Fred Washington, the Kings head coach, told USA TODAY Sports. John Fuller, Hayes' attorney, echoed the claim that "at least one" witness saw Smith with a gun. There is no word on when a trial will take place. Sporting News is now reporting that in 2005, Hayes' "mentally unstable" father was shot and killed by police after wielding a knife during an argument outside of a New Orleans pharmacy. Raion Hill, who grew up in a suburb of New Orleans and played for two years in the NFL, said he once brought a knife onto a movie set to protect himself from Hayes. NEW ORLEANS — On the outskirts of this city, in a dimly lit lot, members of a minor-league football team parked their cars Tuesday night. Police have also recovered the murder weapon. The next year, Hayes filed a federal lawsuit seeking $4 million. "The driver of the Hummer was enraged, yelling and cursing," Thomson said. Instead of stopping, the Mercedes pulls away. In 2014, he plead guilty as a first-time offender to illegally carrying a firearm and drug paraphernalia, resulting in a 6-month probation sentence. In the space of just a few months, Cardell Hayes went from being a promising football prospect to a murder suspect. 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