On day four, the trial was full of testimony from Kevin O’ Neal. O’Neal is a close friend of the defendant Cardell Hayes. He was also in the passenger seat when the accident turned into tragedy. In summary, one side claims it was murder and the other invokes that the incident involved a self defense claim.
One thing that both sides agree on is that Hayes did indeed pull the trigger. This action killed Saints’ player Will Smith. That evidence is fact. The only question is what happened up to that moment? There were also two witnesses for the prosecution this week. Some of them included: former Saints running back Pierre Thomas and Will Smith’s wife Racquel Smith.
The evidence clear to show that Will Smith tapped Cardell Hayes SUV first on Magazine St. and then a short time later Hayes’ Hummer rams into Will Smith’s car. Both sides have very different versions of what happened on that night after The French Quarter Festival on Magazine Street. The prosecution says that Hayes was the aggressor by intentionally slamming into Will Smith’s car. On the other hand, the defense says that the crash was an accident. Hayes has stated that he was only following Smith so closely so he could get a license plate number and call 911.
Many of Will Smith’s teammates were present earlier in the week like Drew Brees, Roman Harper, Steve Gleason, and Fred McAfee. Furthermore, Jahri Evans was also present who had this to say.
"“Just wanted to be there for Racquel, really. I don’t really have much to say about it. Just wanted to be there in support of her and her family.”"
For the most part many people will not see the inside of a courtroom with the exception of a minor traffic ticket. People forget that there are many people that are affected one way or another including friends, family, and children. Regardless of the outcome, the stress on the families can be simply debilitating. The best show of support can just being present. Hopefully, the justice system will prevail and the truth will get revealed so that the people that are affected can go on and feel closure once the proceedings end.