Judge orders Cardell Hayes jury sequestered, trial pushed back

Judge orders Cardell Hayes jury sequestered, trial pushed back

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - An Orleans Parish criminal court judge ruled Wednesday to sequester the jury in the upcoming murder trial of Cardell Hayes.

Orleans Parish Criminal Court Judge Camille Buras also pushed the trial date back to December 5 and will be held on weekends.

Cardell Hayes is accused of shooting former New Orleans Saints star Will Smith and his wife Racquel after a traffic accident escalated into a violent confrontation.

The Hayes trial will be one of the few cases in Orleans Parish to involve the sequestration of a jury.

Orleans Parish District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro filed the motion last week asking to have the jury in the high-profile murder case be kept away from outside influences.

In arguing to keep the jury sequestered, prosecutors said Hayes' attorney John Fuller sought out the media and made false statements about the case. They called it a "media blitz."

Prosecutors argued that because Fuller put out so many facts about the case, the jury should be shielded from publicity.

Fuller argued the prosecution had not thought the request through with the trial falling around the holidays.

Fuller said he is concerned that sequestration would limit who could possibly sit on the jury.

Fuller attempted to highlight the class differences between the victim and the accused. Fuller said the victim, Smith, was well-to-do and Hayes is blue collar.

Hayes, who remains behind bars, is accused of killing former New Orleans Saints star Will Smith after a traffic accident.

Hayes is charged with second-degree murder and attempted murder for the April 9 shooting of Smith and his wife Racquel Smith.

Cannizzaro expects the trial to last about a week.

Jury selection will begin December 5.

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