The Latest: Judge weighs charge in ex-Saints player shooting

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NEW ORLEANS (AP) The Latest on the case of a man who is accused of fatally shooting retired New Orleans Saints player Will Smith during a traffic dispute (all times local):

12 p.m.

A judge is researching whether he can find probable cause for a second-degree murder charge even though prosecutors did not call any witnesses during a preliminary hearing for a man accused of fatally shooting retired New Orleans Saints player Will Smith.

The court was in recess Wednesday while Magistrate Harry Cantrell looked into the matter.

Police say Cardell Hayes shot Smith and his wife April 9 during a traffic dispute in New Orleans. Hayes has been jailed since the shooting.

Hayes' attorney John Fuller accused prosecutors of trying to take Hayes to a grand jury proceeding when they knew that Fuller and his co-counsel would be in court on other matters. He says they were trying to ''jam an indictment down our throats.''

Hayes told the judge prosecutors cannot prove probable cause without witnesses. Prosecutors contend that entering the arrest warrant and supporting sworn statement as evidence is enough.


2:20 a.m.

Prosecutors will have to present witnesses against the man accused of killing retired New Orleans Saints player Will Smith at a hearing Thursday, unless a grand jury indicts him first.

Police say Cardell Hayes shot the star defensive end and Smith's wife late April 9, killing Smith and hitting Racquel Smith in both legs.

Louisiana felony defendants who haven't been indicted are entitled to a probable cause hearing at which witnesses must be brought forward and can be cross-examined by defense attorneys.

Loyola University-New Orleans law professor Dane Ciolino (see-oh-LEE-noh) says an indictment would cancel the 10 a.m. hearing. And he says he'd be surprised if that doesn't happen.

Hayes was arrested on a charge of second-degree murder and is being held on $1 million bond.