Judge denies request to reduce bond for man who shot Will Smith

Judge denies request to reduce bond for man who shot Will Smith

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - A judge denied a request to reduce the bond for Cardell Hayes, the man who shot former Saints player Will Smith to death.

The bond remains set at $1.75 million.

Smith was killed in the Lower Garden District in April after an apparent traffic run-in with Hayes. A 911 tape in the murder case was played Friday morning in open court.It was part of the bond reduction hearing at Orleans Criminal District Court for Hayes.

He was indicted for the murder of Smith and the attempted murder of smith's wife, Racquel.

A New Orleans police officer testified he was off-duty the night Smith was killed and witnessed shots being fired on the scene. The officer told the court he was enjoying drinks at the Half Moon when he heard a loud crash and several people screaming at one another.

When the officer decided to check it, he walked up to the scene and heard several gunshots. While the officer was on the phone with the 911 operator, he walked up to Cordell Hayes and had a conversation with him. He's could be heard on the 911 tapes saying "I got out of the car. The gun was in my hand." Hayes went on to tell the officer that Smith said, "He's got a gun. I'm going to get my gun."

Hayes also told and an NOPD detective that he acted in self-defense and he said Smith charged him and struck him three or four times. Defense attorney John Fuller has maintained his client was not the aggressor and argued that his client had a right to defend himself.

"It's clear that in his mind he did what he had to do," Fuller said.

Prosecutors argued that Hayes' intentions were "overwhelmingly" clear when he rammed Smith's vehicle and that he was the only one that had a gun.

Hayes maintains his innocence. His trial date is set for Sept. 20.

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