Closing arguments set to begin Friday in McKnight murder

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Closing arguments are set to begin Friday in the trial of the man accused of killing former NFL player Joe McKnight. Thursday, both the prosecution and the defense rested their cases after six days of testimony.

The day began with a field trip. Jurors spent time at the Jefferson Parish Crime Lab viewing Ronald Gasser's vehicle. It's the same vehicle he was driving when detectives say he shot and killed McKnight.

The jury also heard from the doctor who performed an autopsy on McKnight. She testified the trajectory of the bullets indicated McKnight was leaning into the car but was not lunging inside as Gasser claims.

Prosecutors also called the JPSO Commander of Technical Services Bureau to the stand. He weighed in on the forensic evidence, explaining how Gasser could not have been holding the gun like he says he was when he opened fire. He explained that since McKnight was over six feet tall, if he had lunged toward Gasser, McKnight's hand could have been beyond the gun, which wasn't possible based on blood spatter and stippling.

During cross-examination, the defense asked why there was no gunpowder on the ladder in Gasser's passenger seat. The expert said since it's a slick surface, he wouldn't expect to see it there.

The defense tried to make the point that, based on the trajectory of the bullets, McKnight was inside the car, but the expert argued that would go against all the other evidence they found.

Before they were dismissed for the evening, jurors had a chance to take a closer look at more than 40 pieces of evidence, such as photos from the crime scene, and even the gun prosecutors say Gasser used to shoot McKnight.

After the prosecution rested its case, Gasser was asked whether he would testify in his defense. He declined.

The defense rested its case without calling any witnesses.

Closing arguments are set for Friday at 10 a.m.

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