Witnesses testify about road rage incident before Joe McKnight was shot

JEFFERSON PARISH, LA (WVUE) - On day four of testimony, witnesses and the lead detective in the case testified about the road rage incident that unfolded just before Joe McKnight was shot.

56-year-old Ronald Gasser is accused of murdering Joe McKnight back in December of 2016. Gasser shot McKnight three times at the intersection of Behrman Highway and Holmes Boulevard.

Gasser's attorney says his client shot McKnight in self-defense while prosecutors say the two were involved in a heated argument that did not justify murder.

Gasser and McKnight first encountered each other as they drove across the Crescent City Connection. A witness testified that she saw McKnight driving aggressively, weaving in and out of traffic and eventually cutting Gasser's vehicle off. The witness said from that point, it appeared the two were engaged in a road rage incident.

The lead detective in the case, Detective Donald Zanotelli, testified that investigators were able to locate a half-dozen surveillance videos from businesses along the route driven by Gasser and McKnight. The jury watched those videos. Each video showed McKnight's vehicle behind Gasser's vehicle. The two eventually came to a stop at Behrman and Holmes Boulevard.

The detective testified that McKnight got out of his vehicle and approached Gasser's passenger side window before Gasser shot him three times.

During cross-examination, the Defense Attorney, Matt Goetz, asked the detective, "Is there blood splatter inside Gasser's vehicle?"

Detective Zanotelli replied, "Yes, his hand was definitely inside the window."

Defense Attorney Goetz then said, "So, he was inside my client's vehicle, correct?"

Detective Zanotelli said, "Yes, at some point his hand was."

The prosecution is presenting its case to the court.

Gasser is charged with 2nd-degree murder.

If convicted, he'll receive a mandatory life sentence.

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