Jury gets the case in Joe McKnight murder trial

GRETNA, LA (WVUE) - Attorneys wrapped up closing arguments Friday morning in the Joe McKnight murder trial and the jury has the case.

Ronald Gasser, 56, is charged with second-degree murder. He is accused of murdering Joe McKnight at Behrman Hwy. and Holmes Blvd. during a road rage incident that started on the Crescent City Connection.

Gasser said he acted in self-defense when McKnight got out of his SUV and lunged into Gasser's passenger side window. Gasser shot McKnight three times.

During closing arguments, the prosecutor told the jury, "We're not saying Mr. McKnight was perfect, but what happened on that bridge was a challenge. He, meaning Gasser, wasn't going to let mister McKnight get away with it."

The prosecutor talked about how the autopsy report proves McKnight was not lunging into Gasser's car when he was shot.

The prosecutor told the jury Gasser was the aggressor when he followed McKnight off the General DeGaulle exit and the road rage escalated.

Defense attorney Matt Goetz says his client had every right to defend himself. He told the jury this case is not about a challenge.
He says it is about choices.

The defense attorney told the jury, "He, meaning Joe McKnight chose to drive like a maniac. He chose to almost run Ronnie off the road. I guess, in his mind, if you're a 6'2", two-hundred plus pound pro-football player with marijuana and Oxycodone in his system, you can do that."

A verdict could come as early as today.