Man Convicted of Killing NFL Star Will Smith Is Suing His Widow in Civil Court

Will Smith, Racquel Smith

Man Convicted of Killing NFL Star Will Smith Is Suing His Widow in Civil Court

Cardell Hayes's lawsuit against Racquel Smith claims her husband was drunk and sparked the conflict.

Published April 13, 2017

In December, a New Orleans jury found Cardell Hayes guilty of manslaughter in the April 2016 road-rage shooting death of former NFL star Will Smith

Since that time, the proposed sentencing for Hayes was delayed twice before being set for April 19. Facing 20 to 60 years in prison isn't stopping Hayes, 29, from taking legal action of his own, though.

A man has been arrested over the fatal shooting of former New Orleans Saints star Will Smith. Cardell Hayes is being held without bond on one count of second-degree murder. His arrest came after Smith was shot and killed in New Orleans on night of April 9, 2016. According to police, Smith was shot "multiple times" following a suspected road rage incident. He was pronounced dead at the scene. His wife, Racquel, was shot in the leg and taken to hospital for treatment.
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TMZ Sports is reporting that Hayes is suing Smith's widow, Racquel Smith, and the former New Orleans Saints' defensive end's estate — amongst others — claiming that the late NFL star was extremely intoxicated and sparked their April 9, 2016, incident, which left Smith dead at 34. His civil lawsuit against the Smiths is for the assault he claims he endured that night and also the emotional distress that he has incurred since the incident. 

Hayes being found guilty of manslaughter in the death of Smith and his impending sentencing doesn't negate Smith's estate from possibly being found liable for the NFL star's actions leading up to the shooting.

According to the celebrity news website, Hayes's lawsuit contends that Smith taunted him on the road before tossing a drink in his face and punching him. Hayes adds that Smith went to his car and grabbed a gun, shooting at him multiple times. Police found a loaded gun in Smith's vehicle that night, just over a year ago, but there isn't any evidence that the former Super Bowl champion fired it during the confrontation with Hayes.

Hayes's lawsuit also names Richard Hernandez, who was a passenger in Smith's vehicle that night, and their insurance companies. Hayes alleges that Hernandez tried to assault him as well, according to Fox 8 Live in New Orleans.

Hayes fatally shot Smith multiple times during the incident and also shot Racquel twice in her legs.

BET Sports News — Get the latest news and information about African-Americans in sports, including weekly recaps, celebrity news and photos of your favorite Black athletes.

Written by BET Staff

(Photo: Will Smith via Instagram)

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