NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Testimony is underway in the Will Smith shooting death trial. Former Saints running back Deuce McAllister was the first person to testify for the prosecution as a character witness.
Prosecutors used their opening statement to paint a picture of the evening had by Smith and his wife, Racquel, the night he was killed.
McAllister was called to the stand and cross-examined, and provided emotional testimony about Smith, who he called a close friend.
The prosecution's opening statement included details about how they will argue that Smith may not have even made contact with Hayes in his vehicle, which initiated their argument.
The prosecution told the jury it will argue this was a murder and not self-defense on Hayes' part because of the location of Smith's gun, what they call one of the most important aspects of the case.
Prosecutors made mention of defense attorney John Fuller's statements to the media, potentially affecting their own investigation.
There are very different accounts of whether Hayes may have taunted Smith after the shooting as claimed by the prosecution or whether, as the defense says, Hayes was regretful.
The defense began their statement telling the jury it wasn't Fuller on trial nor was it Smith's career as a Saints player or his work in the community on trial but their client.
The defense also told the jury it will argue that this was a road rage incident and that the driver and passengers of Smith's vehicle were acting aggressive.
Maybe the boldest claim by the defense in their opening statement is that the New Orleans Police Department solely had a goal of building a strong case against Hayes.
Despite being a witness in the trial, Judge Camille Buras said she will allow Smith's wife to be present throughout, a break from normal protocol during criminal trials.