Dec 14, 2016 09:58 PM EST

Sports News And Updates: Ex-NFL Star Will Smith’s Death Finally Resolved, Jury Not Convinced Over Suspect’s Alibi

Former NFL defensive lineman Will Smith's case was finally resolved. The football star and New Orleans native received eight gunshots on April 19. The jury composed of twelve persons found Cardell Hayes guilty of murdering Smith.

The jury did not believe the accused's claim that he just defended himself. Hayes, a former football player and a tow truck driver before the incident, can be sentenced to 20-40 years in prison.

In a report from Yahoo Sports, Hayes confirmed that he did shot Smith after a verbal altercation following the traffic accident. During that incident, Hayes said Smith punched him four to five times. He added that he heard Smith saying that he (Smith) will go back to his car to get a gun. He alleged seeing Smith with a gun his hand and that was the time he pulled the trigger.

He fired a Ruger SR45 hitting Smith a total of 8 shots. An open fire also hit Smith's wife, Racquel, who is trying to pacify the situation between the two men. ABC News reported that aside from manslaughter of Will Smith, Hayes was also found guilty of attempted manslaughter of Racquel.

Will Smith is considered a hero in New Orleans. He helped the state rise from Hurricane Katrina. His contribution to New Orleans Saints when the team won the Superbowl in 2010 was well-remembered. After he retired from NFL, he devoted his time doing community services and charity works.

Present during the night the verdict was released was Smith's former teammate Sean Payton. However, other members of Saints came to witness the six-day trial. Notable sportsmen spotted to show support for their slain teammate were Drew Brees, Steve Gleason and Deuce McAllister.

Will Smith is just one of several NFL-high profile players who passed away in the last five years. In 2014, Jobs and Hire reported that former Minnesota Vikings player Orlando Thomas died after succumbing to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).    

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