Closing arguments in former Rider Joe McKnight murder trial are underway

28 January, 2018, 00:12 | Author: Dustin Murphy
  • Ronald Gasser left was found guilty of manslaughter Friday in the death of ex-NFL player Joe McKnight right

Second-degree murder, which carries a mandatory life sentence, is the killing of a human being when the offender has a specific intent to kill or inflict great bodily harm. "Mr Gasser thought that Mr McKnight had thrown the gauntlet down", Shute told jurors, later adding: "He followed him off the exit".

Gasser's attorneys filed motions that McKnight was the aggressor, and their client was acting in self defense when he fired off 3 shots.

Jurors began deliberations Friday afternoon in the case.

Authorities said both Gasser and McKnight drove erratically before a confrontation at a traffic stop in Terrytown.

Prosecutors argued Gasser murdered McKnight in a fit of road rage. However, the prosecutors quickly shot down the allegations by proving that they didn't find any gun powder on Mcknight which would be visible if the victim was in close contact with the shooter. McKnight was reportedly standing by the window on the passenger's side.

Ronald Gasser, 56, of Gretna, La., could face up to 40 years in prison for the December 2016 death of McKnight, a 28-year-old former member of the New York Jets and Kansas City Chiefs.


Shute acknowledged that McKnight had a hand on the open, passenger side window of Gasser's vehicle before he was shot.

McKnight went on to play at the University of Southern California before being drafted in 2010 by NY, where he played until 2012.

McKnight emerged as a star in his three seasons with USC, rushing for 1,014 yards and eight touchdowns as a senior in 2009. He later played for the Edmonton Eskimos and Saskatchewan Roughriders in the Canadian Football League.

Gasser's release sparked protests at the time, and some said race played a role in his release - Gasser is white and McKnight was black.

Gasser was later arrested after law enforcement conducted a thorough investigation by gathering witness reports and physical evidence.

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