Cardell Hayes trial: Will jury sequestration be effective?

(Source: Orleans Parish Sheriff's Office)
(Source: Orleans Parish Sheriff's Office)

NEW ORLEANS, La. (WWL-TV) – Cardell Hayes trial is set to go on trial for the murder of Former New Orleans Saints player Will Smith in two weeks.

Judge Camile Buras has announced the jury will be sequestered.

On the scene where the shooting occurred, ‘Rest in Peace’ spray paint with the number 91 lingers on the sidewalk near Felicity Street, seven months after Smith’s murder.

Smith was shot seven times. His wife was also shot but survived.

Many living in the community, like Joshua Cobbins, wonder how the case will pan out in a city where football is king.

“He’s (Hayes) not gonna get no fair trial in New Orleans. My biggest thoughts with this case, it should be moved outside the city of New Orleans. Because you have jurors that are Saints fans too,” Cobbins said.

If a person is considered part of a jury that is being sequestered, the individuals will be cut off from television, access to the internet as well as electronic devices. Family members will be allowed to visit jurors, but their conversations will be monitored.

Criminal defense attorney Mike Fawer has worked on cases involving Fawer said, typically gets ruled out before sequestration begins.

“By asking them open-ended questions, and probing as to what they’ve read. Did they ever express any views on the case. Do they have a feeling, looking at a defendant that he’s guilty from what they’ve read and heard,” Fawer said.

It’s a challenging task, but not impossible.

“Will Smith was a beloved player. He was a celebrity. He was respected. And he’s the subject of a homicide. Whether or not it’s justified, the jury has to decide. But, I don’t see the nature of the case being any different,” Fawer said.

Eyewitness News legal analyst Chick Foret says the case will be the most publicized trial in Orleans Parish history and once the jury is sequestered, it should move rapidly.

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