JPSO detective says evidence suggests Joe McKnight’s hand was in Ronald Gasser’s car
GRETNA, La. – The murder trial for Ronald Gasser in the death of Joe McKnight continued Tuesday as surveillance video and eyewitness accounts took center stage.
The videos, taken from surveillance cameras along the route the two men took through the West Bank, were played several times over for the jury and seemed to back the defense’s claim the McKnight was the one pursuing Gasser.
JPSO Detective Donald Zanotelli was the final witness of the morning testimony, and his exchange briefly became testy with the defense attorney. The pair seemed to be disagreeing over semantics before Zanotelli agreed that blood splatter evidence from inside the vehicle on the passenger door suggested McKnight’s hand was inside the vehicle at the time of the shooting.
After lunch, testimony shifted as drivers from the Crescent City Connection on the afternoon of the killing were called to the stand. One driver, Patricia Scarborough, said that at one point on the downslope of the bridge approaching Gen de Gualle on the West Bank, the gray SUV appeared to attempt to push the blue car off the road and onto the shoulder towards the sidewall of the bridge.
Scarborough was unaware at the time of who was driving which vehicle.
McKnight, a Kenner native and former NFL player, was driving the gray SUV, while Gasser was driving the blue car.
Gasser was arrested on a manslaughter charge Dec. 5, 2016, a few days after shooting, and charged with killing McKnight at a busy intersection in Terrytown following a road rage incident. Attorneys on both sides are trying to convince a jury of which person — Gasser or McKnight — was the aggressor.
The trial will continue Wednesday morning at the courthouse in Gretna and the trial is expected to last about two weeks.