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Ex-officer friend of Will Smith gives DNA sample to investigators

7 years 9 months 3 weeks ago Friday, May 06 2016 May 6, 2016 May 06, 2016 2:45 PM May 06, 2016 in Sports
Source: WBRZ
Billy Ceravolo, Pierre Thomas and Will Smith during dinner Saturday night, shortly before Smith was shot to death. (Courtesy: WWL-TV)

NEW ORLEANS - There are new developments in the investigation into the shooting death of former New Orleans Saint player Will Smith.

WWL-TV reports retired New Orleans Police Captain Billy Ceravolo, who had dinner with Smith and others on the night he died, has turned over DNA samples to homicide investigators.

His attorney confirmed earlier this week that Ceravolo voluntarily took a DNA swab from inside his cheek and submitted it to police. She says her client is asking investigators to compare his DNA to samples found inside Smith’s vehicle and on the handgun found inside a compartment in the player’s Mercedes SUV.

Ceravolo was at the crime scene shortly after Smith died, according to police.

Since the Apr. 9 shooting, there have been many questions about what Ceravolo was doing at the scene of the crime.

A private investigator for Cardell Hayes, the man accused of shooting Smith dead, claims a witness told him she saw Ceravolo remove a gun from Smith’s vehicle.

As of this week, there have been no criminal allegation leveled against Ceravolo, though he was removed from NOPD’s reserve division last month.

New Orleans Police say Hayes shot Smith eight times with seven of those rounds finding their way into the former Saints player’s back. The gunfire erupted after an argument between the men in the Lower Garden District.

Ceravolo’s attorney confirmed that her client gave investigators the shirt he was wearing on the night of the shooting as evidence. She says blood on the shirt likely belong to Smith’s wife Racquel who was also shot in each leg.

Hayes is still in jail and faces charges of second-degree murder, attempted second-degree murder, aggravated assault and criminal damage to property.

His bond is set at $1.75 million.

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