Disclaimer: All persons are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — Cardell Hayes returned to criminal court on Monday, Sept. 18, for the case of the 2016 killing of former Saints football player Will Smith.

It comes after his conviction was overturned following a U.S. Supreme Court ruling, which requires unanimous jury verdicts. 

After meeting with prosecutors and attorneys in the case, State District Judge Camille Buras announced a continuance. The continuance was agreed on by both parties, which delayed the retrial once again. 

Hayes was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to 25 years in state prison after allegedly shooting Smith and his wife during a traffic dispute in the Lower Garden District. 

During the dispute, Hayes allegedly shot Smith eight times in what he claims was self-defense.

Hayes insists he believed Smith was getting ready to retrieve a gun from his car; however, there is no evidence to back-up his claim. 

Hayes has served about five years of his original prison sentence but has been out on bond since 2021 while awaiting his second trial. 

His retrial has been delayed five times. A new date has not been decided, but a pretrial conference is scheduled for Wednesday. 

On Wednesday, Cardell is expected to plead guilty, though it hasn’t been confirmed. 

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