The man convicted of manslaughter in the death of Utica native and former NFL-er Will Smith will likely face sentencing on Friday.

Cardell Hayes' defense team asked for a new trial on Wednesday, a request that was denied by the judge.

Smith's widow, Racquel, addressed the court and Hayes directly expressing grief over her loss and telling Hayes to own up to his actions. New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton also spoke in court, saying Smith was 'special'.

Smith, 34, was gunned down following an apparent road rage dispute in New Orleans in April of last year.

Hayes' defense has argued Smith threw a punch before he was shot. Also, another possible witness has come forward claiming he heard two gunshots at the shooting scene, the BillingsGazette reports:

A prosecutor is calling a newly found defense witness in the killing of former New Orleans Saints star Will Smith "certifiably insane."

Assistant District Attorney Jason Napoli used the term after the sometimes emotional and rambling testimony of Michael Burnside. The bushy-haired, bearded witness appeared near tears at times and twice let slip a profanity on the stand as he insisted that he heard two guns fired when Smith was killed.

Burnside was called by the defense Wednesday to support a motion for a new trial for Cardell Hayes, who faces up to 60 years in prison for manslaughter and attempted manslaughter in the shootings of Smith and his wife following a traffic dispute.

Defense attorney John Fuller sharply criticized Napoli's characterization of the new witness. He told the judge: "Just because people are different from you, doesn't make them liars."

 

The 29-year-old Hayes faces upto 60 years in prison at his sentencing Friday.