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Former Ohio State player’s killer sentenced to 25 years in prison

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Will Smith celebrates during a game against Arizona on Jan. 16, 2010 during a playoff game at the Superdome in New Orleans. Credit: Courtesy of TNS

Cardell Hayes, the man who shot and killed former Ohio State football and New Orleans Saints standout Will Smith, has been sentenced to 25 years in prison on charges of manslaughter by  Judge Camille Buras.

Hayes and Smith were involved in a traffic-related altercation on April 9, 2016, when Hayes got out of his car and discharged a firearm into Smith’s vehicle.

Hayes avoided the maximum sentence of 60 years, and could be released in 20 with good behavior. The former ex-semi-pro football player apologized in the courtroom to Smith’s family and Smith’s wife, Racquel, who was shot in the legs during the incident.

On top of the 25-year sentence, Hayes will also be serving a 15-year sentence for shooting Racquel Smith concurrently with his 25-year sentence.

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