The Latest: $1 million bond for suspect in ex-Saints death

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Posted: Apr 10, 2016 7:44 PM
The Latest: $1 million bond for suspect in ex-Saints death

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The Latest on the shooting death of ex-NFL player Will Smith (all times local):

6 p.m.

A New Orleans magistrate has set bond at $1 million for the man accused of killing former New Orleans Saints player Will Smith. Magistrate Brigid Collins noted that Smith was shot in the back and side.

Defense attorney John Fuller said after Sunday's hearing that 28-year-old Cardell Hayes is not guilty of the second-degree murder charge on which he's being held.

He implied that Hayes fired because he believed Smith was going for a gun of his own.

Fuller says the accident that police said touched off the shooting was the second within moments. He says a hit-and-run driver had just run into the back of Hayes' Hummer, and Hayes had called 911 and was following the other vehicle to get its license plate number.

Fuller won't say whether Hayes identifies Smith's Mercedes as the vehicle that hit the Hummer.

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3:30 p.m.

The New Orleans Saints Hall of Fame says defensive end Will Smith had been unanimously voted into the hall last month.

Hall of Fame President Ken Trahan (TRAY-han) says the announcement had been scheduled next month. He says the museum "expresses its deepest condolences and heartfelt prayers" to Smith's wife, Racquel, and their three children, William, Wynter and Lisa.

He says Smith was a superb player for the Saints for nine seasons, and an integral part of a team that won the 2009 Super Bowl.

He says a formal announcement and induction will be held, but has not yet been scheduled.

Police say Smith was shot and killed late Saturday in what appears to have been road rage. Twenty-eight-year-old Cardell Hayes has been arrested on a charge of second-degree murder in the case.

Conviction would bring an automatic life sentence.

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2:15 p.m.

New Orleans' police chief says investigators don't have any evidence that former New Orleans Saints defensive end Will Smith and the man accused of killing him knew each other, or that Smith was targeted.

Superintendent Michael Harrison says that so far, it appears just to be an accident turned violent.

At a brief news conference Sunday, he would not say whether 28-year-old Cardell Hayes claims he shot Smith in self-defense. He says he doesn't want to say anything that might compromise the police investigation or weaken the case against Hayes.

He says Hayes shot Smith and Smith's wife during an argument after Hayes' Hummer rear-ended Smith's Mercedes about 11:30 p.m. Saturday.

Harrison says Smith's wife was shot once in the leg.

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2:15 p.m.

New Orleans' police chief confirms that people who dined Saturday night with former New Orleans Saints Will Smith included a former officer who had been sued by the man accused of killing Smith.

But Superintendent Michael Harrison says he cannot say whether that played any part in the crash and shooting. Spokesman Tyler Gamble says the former officer, William Ceravolo, was not among those present at the time of the crash.

Harrison says that so far, it appears just to be an accident turned violent.

Police have said 28-year-old Cardell Hayes shot Smith and Smith's wife during an argument after Hayes' Hummer rear-ended Smith's Mercedes about 11:30 p.m. Saturday.

Ceravolo was among six officers sued by Hayes after police killed his father, Anthony Hayes, in December 2005. Police settled the lawsuit in 2011.

Attorney Ike Spears, who represented Hayes, says the settlement was confidential.

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1:20 p.m.

The man accused of killing former New Orleans Saints defensive end Will Smith had once sued city police after they shot and killed his father on Dec. 26, 2005.

Cardell Hayes, 28, and the city settled the federal lawsuit in September 2011, while attorneys were preparing for trial in the case. Court papers don't describe the settlement.

According to the lawsuit, several people told the officers that Antonio Hayes had a history of mental illness.

Police said they shot Antonio Hayes after he lunged at them with a 3-inch-long knife. Bystanders had video of officers surrounding Hayes, but not of the shooting. Six officers were defendants in the lawsuit, which said Anthony Hayes was shot at least nine times.

Cardell Hayes was arrested and charged with second-degree murder in the death of Smith, who was shot and killed Saturday after a traffic accident.

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10:45 a.m.

The New Orleans Saints have released a statement following the death of former defensive end Will Smith, who was shot and killed late Saturday in New Orleans.

Executive Vice President and General Manager Mickey Loomis says that the entire organization is deeply saddened by Smith's death and noted that he was "an important contributor to numerous charitable causes" and a "cornerstone" of the team that won the Super Bowl in 2009.

Among Smith's charitable causes was the Smith Family Christmas event that provided 60 needy families with holiday meals, gifts and a behind-the-scenes tour of the club's practice facilities.

A suspect has been arrested and charged with second-degree murder. Smith was shot to death after a traffic accident in New Orleans. His wife was shot in the leg and was being treated at a local hospital.

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9:30 a.m.

Police say a suspect has been arrested on a charge of second-degree murder in the death of former New Orleans Saints defensive end Will Smith, who was shot and killed Saturday night.

New Orleans Police Department spokesman Tyler Gamble on Sunday identified the suspect as Cardell Hayes, 29. Gamble said the investigation was ongoing but did not release further details.

Authorities say Hayes killed Smith after the two argued following a traffic accident in New Orleans late Saturday.

Police say Smith's wife was also shot and taken to a local hospital for treatment.

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6:10 a.m.

Former New Orleans Saints player Will Smith was shot and killed late Saturday after a traffic accident.

An emailed statement from New Orleans city coroner Jeffrey C. Rouse said that Smith died "of multiple gunshot wounds" after a traffic accident on Camp Street. The former defensive end was 34 years old. No other information was released.

A tweet from the verified account of Greg Bensel, Saints vice president of communications and broadcasting, expressed condolences to Smith's family.

Smith leaves behind a wife, Racquel, and three children.

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The 9:30 a.m. story has been corrected to show that Hayes was arrested on a charge of murder, rather than being charged with murder.

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Correspondent Rebecca Santana contributed to this report.