Day 4: Lead homicide detective testifies in Will Smith case - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports, Social

Day 4: Lead homicide detective testifies in Will Smith case

Orleans Parish Criminal Court (FOX 8 FILE) Orleans Parish Criminal Court (FOX 8 FILE)
NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) -

A long day in the Cardell Hayes trial drew to a close with testimony from the lead homicide investigator in the case.

On the stand, Detective Bruce Brueggeman often found himself fending off often relentless suggestions that the NOPD rushed the indictment of Hayes before all of the witnesses had been interviewed, all available surveillance video had been obtained and without toxicology results being made available to the grand jurors.

Defense attorney John Fuller: "Do you know if any tests were conducted to see if Hayes' DNA was under Smith's fingernails?

Detective Bruce Brueggeman: "Don't know."

Fuller: "Was there an accident investigation that night?"

Brueggeman: "There was not."

Earlier in the day, prosecutors surprised many by calling Kevin O'Neill to the stand. He is a friend of defendant Cardell Hayes and was in Hayes’ Hummer the night Will Smith was shot.

"Before we made impact, he was hitting the brakes, he was smashing them,” O’Neal testified, seeming to indicate that Hayes did not intentionally strike Smith's Mercedes G wagon prior to the shooting.

O'Neal testified afterward that, "They continued to attack us even when I continued to ask them to stop. …Our safety was in jeopardy from the beginning of the situation, before gunshots. I see Hayes and myself under attack,” O’Neal said, referring to a man named Richard Hernandez who ripped his shirt off and acted aggressively toward Hayes and O’Neal.

“The jury is paying attention, they are putting on everything - warts and all,” said FOX 8 legal analyst Joe Raspanti.

At one point during today's testimony, a prosecutor asked witness Justin Ross if Smith was doing anything to warrant seven shots to the back.

“He was not, no,” Ross answered.

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