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Witness, prosecutor clash over who was aggressor in Will Smith trial

6 years 9 months 1 week ago Thursday, December 08 2016 Dec 8, 2016 December 08, 2016 2:11 PM December 08, 2016 in News
Source: Associated Press

NEW ORLEANS - Anger and anguish are evident in a New Orleans courtroom as a friend of the man who killed former Saints star Will Smith continues his testimony.

Kevin O'Neal repeatedly said Thursday that Smith and at least two others charged at him and Cardell Hayes when they exited Hayes' Hummer following an April 9 traffic crash.

Hayes is on trial for second-degree murder.

Audible sobs were heard from the row of spectators where Smith's widow sat with supporters during exchanges between O'Neal and prosecutor Laura Rodrigue.

O'Neal earlier told a jury he tried to restrain Smith in the heated exchange of words following an April 9 crash. 

"I grabbed Mr. Smith and asked him to please chill out," O'Neal said.

O'Neal is a prosecution witness, but he's friendly to Hayes, who is on trial for second-degree murder. Hayes' lawyers are building a case for self-defense.

He furiously insisted that Hayes never displayed aggression in the face of Smith's fury. Rodrigue retorted that Hayes never needed to show aggression because he was armed with a handgun.

Earlier, Rodrigue lamented that Smith will miss his son's 8th birthday.

O'Neal replied that the jailed Hayes missed his son's birthday.

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