Drew Brees, Roman Harper talk about Cardell Hayes murder trial, support for Will Smith’s family

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NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) - Saints quarterback Drew Brees and safety Roman Harper talked with reporters this afternoon about their experience in criminal court Tuesday and their support for the family of their late former teammate Will Smith.

Brees, his wife Brittany, Harper and other former teammates of Will Smith went to the Cardell Hayes murder trial to support Racquel Smith when she took the witness stand to testify against Hayes.

Will Smith photo courtesy Getty Images

Will Smith photo courtesy Getty Images

Hayes is charged with second-degree murder and attempted second-degree murder for shooting and killing Will Smith and shooting and injuring Racquel Smith. The high-profile trial began Monday and is expected to last all week.

"I can't imagine what that process is like for Racquel and the whole Smith family," Brees said.  "For us to be able to be there to show support for her and hopefully give her some strength as she goes through this process, I felt like that was important. I've never been in a courtroom during a criminal murder case like that, so, yeah, pretty intense, but again, we were there to give her and her family a lot of support."

Harper described it as a "heavy day" for himself and his teammates.

"The tension, you could feel it," he said. "At the end of the day, as a city, as a country, we need to think about what we're doing ... we've got to be better. You look across the courtroom ... people are growing up without their fathers every day, especially as a black male, you look at yourselves, you look in the mirror, you just try to say, 'Am I making this country better? Am I making this city better by my actions on a daily basis?' And I think we all need to answer those questions.

"We have too many young black males growing up without their fathers ... We're losing too many lives over nothing," he continued.

Former Saints running back Pierre Thomas testified today. Click here and here for more updates from Day 2 of the trial.

Cardell Hayes, the man charged with murder and attempted murder in connection with the shooting of Will and Racquel Smith

Cardell Hayes