Attorneys claim Cardell Hayes did not shoot Will Smith's wife

Accused Will Smith shooter in criminal court Tuesday

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - There is new information from Orleans Parish Criminal Court about the shooting death case of Will Smith.

Defense attorneys for Cardell Hayes held a special hearing Tuesday as they try to argue the 29-year-old did not shoot Smith's wife, Racquel.

Hayes has already been convicted of the crime and of shooting and killing, the former Saints player.

In a highly unusual move, Judge Camille Buras heard testimony from three medical personnel after Hayes was already convicted, but before his sentencing date later this month.

The defense is trying to show the judge that the medical records from the hospital the night Racquel Smith was treated have a classification "accidental discharge of a gun."

An occupational therapist, orthopedic surgeon and trauma center doctor all testified. Each said they weren't responsible for the classification and none of them heard Racquel Smith say that her husband accidentally shot her.

In December, Hayes was convicted of manslaughter for shooting and killing Will Smith after a confrontation in the Lower Garden District. He was also convicted of attempted manslaughter for the shooting of Racquel Smith, but he consistently maintained he did not shoot her.

Trying to explain why medical records would show that Racquel Smith was allegedly accidentally shot, defense attorney John Fuller asked Dr. Stephen Thon, an orthopedic surgeon if it is common for the person making the entry to put something that doesn't apply just for expediency.

Thon said "can be."

Hayes is scheduled to be sentenced March 27. He faces 20 to 40 years behind bars for the manslaughter conviction and up to 20 years for the attempted manslaughter conviction.

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