Saints players express sympathy for families involved in Will Smith shooting

FILE- In this Dec. 10, 2016, file photo, New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton walks with Will Smith's widow Racquel into Orleans Criminal Court for the trial of Cardell Hayes in New Orleans. Hayes was convicted of manslaughter Sunday, Dec. 11, in the fatal shooting of retired New Orleans Saints defensive leader Will Smith. The conviction ended a week-long trial in which the defendant insisted he only fired because the popular football star was drunk, violent and had grabbed a gun following a traffic crash on the night of April 9. (Michael DeMocker/NOLA.com The Times-Picayune via AP, File)

NEW ORLEANS (AP) – The Latest on manslaughter conviction of Cardell Hayes, who fatally shot former New Orleans Saints star Will Smith in April (all times local):

1:55 p.m.

New Orleans Saints players are expressing sympathy for the families of their former teammate Will Smith as well as the man convicted of shooting him.

Cardell Hayes was convicted Sunday of manslaughter and attempted manslaughter for killing the retired NFL player and wounding his wife, Raquel Smith. Many players attended the seven-day trial.

After football practice Monday, offensive tackle Zach Strief called it a “tragedy for everybody that’s involved.”

Punter Thomas Morstead says it’s a “sad situation” that Smith’s widow and children have lost him.

Morstead said he’s also sad for the Hayes’ family, saying he’s probably lost a “huge chunk or all of his life in jail.”

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1:40 p.m.

The New Orleans district attorney says he’ll seek a 60-year sentence for the man who shot ex-Saints star Will Smith – the maximum 40 years for manslaughter in Smith’s death, with 20 years added for attempted manslaughter in the wounding of Smith’s wife.

Cardell Hayes is set for sentencing on Feb. 17. Jurors found him guilty Sunday night of the lesser manslaughter charges, deciding against murder in the shootings that followed a traffic collision last April.

District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro said Monday his office would seek the maximum sentence for both crimes. The judge can sentence Hayes to serve them concurrently, but the prosecutor says the crimes are so serious that Hayes should serve the sentences one after the other, for a total of 60 years.

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9 a.m.

The man who fatally shot retired New Orleans Saints defensive leader Will Smith faces a sentence of up to 40 years in prison after being convicted of manslaughter during a trial that made spectators of some of the city’s sports heroes.

Cardell Hayes was convicted of manslaughter Sunday night, ending a weeklong trial in which the defendant insisted he only fired because the popular football star was drunk, violent and had grabbed a gun following a traffic crash on the night of April 9.

Hayes will be sentenced on Feb. 17. As bad as the conviction was for him, it could have been worse. He was tried on a second-degree murder charge carrying a mandatory life sentence.

Hayes also was convicted of attempted manslaughter for wounding Smith’s wife, Racquel Smith.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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