The trial in the killing of former Saints defensive lineman Will Smith began Tuesday in New Orleans, and several of Smith’s well-known teammates were in the courtroom.
Cardell Hayes, 29, was charged with second-degree murder for shooting Smith during an argument following a car crash April 9, and former Saints running back Deuce McAllister was the first witness to take the stand and testify on behalf of Smith’s character.
Also in the courtroom were current Saints quarterback Drew Brees, safety Roman Harper, guard Jahri Evans and former Saints special teams ace Steve Gleason, who suffers from ALS.
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Hayes’ defense is arguing that he fired the shots in self defense, fearing that an angry and intoxicated Smith, 34, was reaching for a gun from his glove box.
The prosecution is alleging that the fact Smith was shot seven times in the back constitutes murder.
Smith played for the Saints from 2004-12 and won a Super Bowl with them during the 2009 season.
Information from the Associated Press was used in this story.