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Certain records sealed in Joe McKnight case, trial date remains

Ronald Gasser. Source: JPSO Ronald Gasser. Source: JPSO
NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) -

The man accused of killing a former NFL player  appeared in court Monday morning.

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Prosecutors say the death of Joe McKnight was a violent road rage incident, but the suspect, Ronald Gasser, said it was self-defense.

Gasser has been indicted on a second degree murder charge for the shooting death of McKnight.

In court, the judge received multiple motions to seal certain records, and both the prosecution and defense agreed to that. 

The judge then set another status hearing for January 8 with the trial date remaining for January 16. 

Last December, McKnight was traveling from the East Bank to the West Bank on the Crescent City Connection when he encountered Gasser.

For some reason, the two men began to argue with each other as they drove.

According to our partners at NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune, prosecutors said Gasser was the aggressor in a "cat-and-mouse" chase that began when McKnight possibly cut him off.

Gasser's attorneys have accused McKnight of being the aggressor, forcing their client to defend himself against what they call McKnight's, "violent and erratic behavior."

Who the aggressor was will be important in determining if Gasser was justified in shooting McKnight dead at the intersection of Behrman Highway and Holmes Boulevard in Terrytown.

Prosecutors have been cleared to introduce evidence of a 2006 road rage incident where Gasser punched a truck driver at that very same intersection. 

Gasser claimed self defense in that incident as well, and that charge was later dropped.

If he’s convicted, Gasser will face a mandatory sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole. 

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