CLOSE
Leave a comment

UPDATE: Ronald Gasser has been sentenced to 30 years in prison for the road-rage shooting death of former NFL running back Joe McKnight.

GRETNA, La. (AP) — The man convicted of manslaughter in the 2016 road-rage shooting death of former NFL running back Joe McKnight faces sentencing in a suburban New Orléans courtroom on Thursday.

Ronald Gasser, 56, could get up to 40 years in prison.

Gasser was convicted Jan. 26.

Defense lawyers argued that Gasser fired in self-defense when McKnight walked up to his car following a 5-mile rolling confrontation that began on a bridge spanning the Mississippi River in New Orléans and ended with gunfire in neighboring Jefferson Parish.

Witnesses at the trial said McKnight had been weaving in and out of traffic at high speed before the shooting. Prosecutors acknowledged to the jury that he was, in the words of Assistant District Attorney Seth Shute, “driving like a jerk.” But they argued that Gasser escalated the conflict, following him down an exit that he would not ordinarily have taken moments prior to the shooting.

Shute acknowledged that McKnight had a hand on the open, passenger side window of Gasser’s car before he was shot. But he said physical evidence proved Gasser lied during extensive police questioning when he claimed McKnight lunged at him.

McKnight had been a high school football hero at Louisiana’s John Curtis Christian School. He signed with the University of Southern California in 2006. In the NFL, he played three seasons for the New York Jets and one with the Kansas City Chiefs.

Gasser was indicted on a second-degree murder charge in McKnight’s death. The jury voted 10-2 for the lesser verdict of manslaughter.

Gasser did not leave the scene of the shooting and he was released for a time after being questioned. He is white and his release after the shooting of the black athlete sparked protests at the time from some who said race was a factor.

Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand, who has since retired, denied that race played any role and noted that a thorough investigation led to Gasser’s arrest and indictment. Prosecutors later recounted a painstaking investigation including an extensive search for witnesses and physical evidence that eventually led to Gasser being charged.

The case in some ways echoed another New Orléans-area road-rage shooting from 2016. Former New Orleans Saints star Will Smith was gunned down in that April incident. The shooter was later convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to 25 years.

READ MORE STORIES ON BLACKAMERICAWEB.COM:

GET THE HOTTEST STORIES STRAIGHT TO YOUR INBOX: 

Also On Black America Web:
Find Out What Your Fav Celebs Did On Instagram This Week (02/02-02/08)
10 photos

7 thoughts on “Sentencing Nears For Ex-NFL Running Back’s Killer

  1. Ted Gravely on said:

    If he lives and survives prison, he will be eligible for parole in about 15 years. That’s my guesstimate. So he will be back on the streets at seventy and really angry. I hope McKnight’s Family sues Gasser – bankrupt his estate.

  2. Mac Daddy on said:

    Suge McNight was clearly the aggressor in this situation. Driving recklessly and getting out of his vehicle to confront an innocent civilian. Time served and mandatory attendance at a driver safety class. Case closed

  3. americanize on said:

    The white devil travel five miles behind someone b/c they cut him off.When he catches up with him,he kills him.The white jury decides on a lesser charge,he should be lock up for life without parole,or the death sentence.Black America were in a race war.Bombs on our door steps,average white folks shooting us,race soldiers,shooting us,Black America open ur eyes.

Add Your Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

&pubUrl=[PAGE_URL_ENCODED]&x=[WIDTH]&y=[HEIGHT]&vp_content=plembeddf3ixunshlvk&vp_template=3854" ]