Jury convicts man in shooting death of ex-NFL player Joe McKnight
28 January, 2018, 00:15 | Author: Essie Rivera
Gasser killed McKnight at at Terrytown intersection on December 1, 2016, after a 5-mile chase, spurred by road rage, that began on the Crescent City Connection.
Ronald Gasser, 56, had been charged with second-degree murder, which carries a life sentence. The jury instead convicted him of manslaughter, essentially a crime of passion. They stopped at the Terrytown intersection, where witnesses said the two men were "in a heated verbal exchange" from their vehicles until McKnight exited his vehicle. The confrontation ended at an intersection, where McKnight exited his vehicle, approached Gasser's passenger window and was shot. Defense attorneys had claimed Gasser feared for his life when he fired from his driver's seat at McKnight, who was standing at his open passenger-side window. Gasser's lawyer argued that his client was justified in defending himself with lethal force under Louisiana's so-called "stand-your-ground" law.
McKnight, driving his stepfather's Audi Q7, cut off Gasser, who gave chase, Normand said.
Prosecutors in a New Orleans suburb say they are satisfied with the manslaughter verdict returned by the jury against the man who shot former National Football League player Joe McKnight to death.
During the trial, Gasser alleged that he shot McKnight when he lunged at him.
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On Friday, Gasser was found guilty of manslaughter and now faces up to 40 years in prison. Gasser's defense team claimed McKnight aggressively pursued Gasser, but witness testimony disputed such a claim.
Gasser's release ignited protests, and the authorities were accused of letting Gasser go because he is white and McKnight was black.
Gasser shot McKnight after what prosecutors said was a road rage incident that included aggressive driving along a five mile route.
McKnight was considered the no 1 running back in the country in 2006 when he graduated from John Curtis Christian School in Louisiana.
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