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25 Years for Ex-Saint’s Killer in ‘Profoundly Sad’ Case

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NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A Louisiana judge has sentenced a 29-year-old New Orleans man to 25 years in prison for killing former Saints star Will Smith and wounding Smith’s wife after an April 2016 traffic crash.

Judge Camille Buras called it a “profoundly sad and tragic” case in sentencing shooter Cardell Hayes on Thursday in the death of one of New Orleans’ sports heroes.

Hayes had faced up to 60 years if given consecutive maximum terms for manslaughter and attempted manslaughter, as prosecutors had urged. Instead, Buras gave him 15 years for shooting Racquel Smith in the legs, to be served at the same time as the manslaughter sentence.

State law requires Hayes to serve 85 percent of the sentence before becoming eligible for good-behavior release, meaning he could be freed in roughly 20 years.

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