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5-7, 3rd in NFC South
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6hMike Triplett

Will Smith's widow testifies in murder trial

The trial of former New Orleans Saints player Will Smith's alleged killer got off to a dramatic start on Tuesday, with his widow, Racquel, testifying for an emotional two hours.

Mike Triplett ESPN Staff Writer 

Court in recess for the night after Racquel Smith is done with her testimony, cross-examination and re-direct. The assistant district attorney asks her who was being more aggressive or reasonable -- her husband or the one who exited his car with a fully-loaded handgun after causing the accident? She said Hayes was being the aggressor.

Mike Triplett ESPN Staff Writer 

Another terse exchange between Racquel Smith and the defense attorney for her husband's shooter, Cardell Hayes. The attorney, John Fuller, asked if her husband has a temper. She said, "It depends on what you consider a temper. I think everyone gets upset." He then asks if she thinks her husband had what she considers a temper. She said, "Do you have a temper? I think everyone gets upset." And Fuller replied that he asks the questions. She then replied that no she did not think Smith had a temper.

Mike Triplett ESPN Staff Writer 

A passionate exchange between Racquel Smith and the defense attorney for Cardell Hayes when she said she saw something in Hayes' eyes and Hayes' passenger Kevin O'Neal instead of her husband's eyes. The attorney, John Fuller, raised his voice saying if his client is supposed to be an "aggressive killer" but didn't overreact after being bumped in his car or rushed by Will Smith, did she believe she saw it in his eyes but not her husband's eyes? She replied, "I saw it in everyone's eyes. I'm a mother first. I'm trying to stop the whole situation because I'm scared. It didn't have to go where it went. Everyone on the scene knew it did not have to go that route."

Mike Triplett ESPN Staff Writer 

Racquel Smith crying after saying the family moved away from New Orleans. She said the kids "miss their city, they miss their home, they miss their dad." When the assistant DA asked her how she told the children, someone in the courtroom made a negative comment and the judge asked them to be removed from the courtroom if they could be identified.

Mike Triplett ESPN Staff Writer 

Racquel Smith detailed shooting, saying she heard "pop-pop," not knowing at first that she had been shot in the legs until she felt burning. She doesn't know how she made it to other side of the car, then she "played dead" not knowing if the shooter would come after her again. Then she heard "pop-pop-pop-pop-pop," not knowing who was being shot. Then she says she heard a man yelling, "You want to f-in' show off for the white boy. Look at you now." She said the voice was "loud, angry, evil." She said, "my worst nightmare happened. For no reason."

Mike Triplett ESPN Staff Writer 

Racquel Smith talks directly to accused killer Cardell Hayes, saying he didn't have any reason to do that to her baby. "And you know it! Or to me. I didn't do you anything."

Mike Triplett ESPN Staff Writer 

Racquel Smith details the events that led up to her husband being shot, said they realized Cardell Hayes' car was following them and were scared after they were hit from behind and glass shattered. She said Smith and acquaintance Richard Hernandez got out of the car and began arguing with Hayes and his passenger -- loud and cursing. She said she went to her husband to calm him down, told everyone they have kids, they're not like this, he was Will Smith and they would take care of it. Racquel said she implored Will to calm down and think of their three children and walk away, and she said Will looked her in the eyes and they did walk away together.

ESPN Stats & Information

Saints take serious tumble in FPI

A week after jumping all the way up to No. 6 overall, New Orleans fell back to 11th after a comfortable loss at home. Its defense and special teams both sit in the league's bottom five in terms of efficiency. Full FPI rankings

Mike Triplett ESPN Staff Writer 

Racquel Smith explained that her husband Will Smith normally kept his gun in the glove compartment. But on the day he was shot, he had decided not to bring his gun with him to the French Quarter festival and quickly reached in the driver's side door to put his gun back in the car. ... The state said earlier that Smith's gun was found wedged between the seat and the console -- not in the glove compartment.

Mike Triplett ESPN Staff Writer 

Racquel Smith said one of the defense attorneys mentioned the jury will feel sympathy for her. She said, "I don't want sympathy, I want justice." She said her late husband Will Smith is not here today and she is his "voice."

Mike Triplett ESPN Staff Writer 

Will Smith's widow Racquel, who was shot in the legs the night Smith was killed, is called to the stand on first day of testimony in Cardell Hayes murder trial.

Mike Triplett ESPN Staff Writer 

The defense attorney for Will Smith's alleged killer, Cardell Hayes, is asking questions to one of the homicide detectives about the results of gunshot-residue test on Will Smith's hands, about why Smith's glove box was open and about video of Smith's behavior and disposition at bars and restaurants earlier in the day. The detective did not know the results of the gunshot-residue test or any surveillance videos. Others will testify to that later. ... So far there has been no evidence that Smith's gun was ever fired, but defense suggested in opening statement that Smith reached into glove box for gun before Hayes shot him.

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13h

Week 14 Preview, Fantasy Play & Pick'em

Saints NFL Nation reporter Mike Triplett and Buccaneers NFL Nation reporter Jenna Laine preview the Week 14 matchup, discuss their top potential fantasy play and make their game predictions.

Derick E. Hingle/USA TODAY Sports

Saints are back in the top-10 draft mix

New Orleans' midseason surge made a top-five pick in April's draft unlikely, but a top-10 pick is still very much in play. FPI pegs the Saints' odds just under 50-50 at the moment. Projected draft order

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What does prosecution need to prove in Will Smith's death? (3:25)

Mike Triplett ESPN Staff Writer 

Defense attorney John Fuller suggesting Deuce McAllister is testifying as a "famous Saints player" and points out that the photo the state introduced to the jury to identify Smith was of Smith and McAllister with other Saints in uniform on the sideline. Fuller now hinting that McAllister can't testify that Smith always has great character at all times.

Mike Triplett ESPN Staff Writer 

Former Saints RB Deuce McAllister breaks into tears while talking about Will Smith's character and their relationship. Said they became close friends as teammates, remained close after playing careers, had kids in the same class.

Mike Triplett ESPN Staff Writer 

Saints RB Deuce McAllister, a friend and former teammate of Will Smith's is the first witness called by the state. But defense objecting since he was present throughout opening arguments. Court overruled objection, let's him testify.

Mike Triplett ESPN Staff Writer 

Saints QB Drew Brees, Steve Gleason and their wives have joined some of Will Smith's other former teammates at courthouse to support Smith's wife Racquel, who is expected to testify today. Opening statements have wrapped up in the trial of Smith's shooter Cardell Hayes. Also in attendance: Deuce McAllister, Roman Harper, Jahri Evans and Fred McAfee.

AP Photo/Bill Feig

Saints slip back down Power Rankings

Every time New Orleans makes some progress, it gets undone by another setback. The Saints fell five spots this week and have ranked above No. 20 just once this season. Power Rankings

Mike Triplett ESPN Staff Writer 

Defense attorney for Cardell Hayes says Hayes didn't shoot Will Smith until after Smith reached into his car and opened his glove box and began to turn back. The attorney, Jay Daniels, said the jury will hear that the driver and passengers of Smith's car were being "very aggressive" and that Smith took a few swings at Hayes, then Smith's wife tried to pull him away. Daniels says Hayes did not originally have a gun in his hand, and he was taunted by Smith's acquaintance Richard Hernandez, then by Smith, who said, "Oh, you got a gun? I got a gun, too, and I'm gonna show you what to do with it."

Mike Triplett ESPN Staff Writer 

Defense attorney Jay Daniels says Will Smith's "fantastic football career" and charity involvement are not on trial. Said in order for the jury to believe the state's case, they need to accept that it was a road rage incident that caused Hayes to "lose his mind" and decide to take another man's life over a minor accident. ... Said months earlier, Hayes was a victim of another hit and run, followed the car to write down the license plate and reported it with no incident or fight involved. Said that was his intent again after he believed he was hit-and-run by Will Smith.

Mike Triplett ESPN Staff Writer 

Assistant DA says in opening statement that expert will testify that Cardell Hayes slammed into Will Smith's vehicle at 17-20 mph without slamming on brakes and when Smith said, "You hit me," Hayes replied, "Yeah, well you hit me first" instead of apologizing. ADA acknowledged Smith was angry but said he chose to exit his car without his gun while Hayes exited his own car with a gun. ADA also acknowledged that Smith's passenger Richard Hernandez was "a little out of control" and looking for a fistfight. ADA said after Hayes shot Smith eight times, he taunted Smith while referencing Hernandez as "that white boy."

Mike Triplett ESPN Staff Writer 

The assistant DA admits Will Smith was intoxicated at time of shooting. Said that's not in dispute and they wish he was here today being charged with DUI instead of his murder trial. ... Assistant DA also said former Saints RB Pierre Thomas was in a fourth car that wasn't involved in the three-car pile-up. Thomas was just ahead of the other three cars.

Team Stats

Passing Yards319.41st
Rushing Yards109.312th
Points For28.92nd
Points Against27.930th

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