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The trial in a road-rage shooting that took the life of former NFL football player Joe McKnight began Tuesday in a New Orleans suburb Jason Spriggs Jersey , where a judge and attorneys were questioning dozens of potential jurors.
Ronald Gasser, 56, is charged with second-degree murder in the Dec. 1, 2016, shooting of the player who began his career as a local high school football star. Initially charged with manslaughter, Gasser was indicted on the more serious charge last February. He has pleaded not guilty.
Gasser, who remains jailed with bond set at $750,000, was dressed in a dark blue pinstripe suit as he entered the courtroom, accompanied by sheriff’s deputies.
McKnight, 28 Mike Daniels Jersey , was a running back, considered a top recruit when he came out of John Curtis Christian School. He played college ball at Southern California before three seasons with the New York Jets and one with the Kansas City Chiefs.
A jury was seated late Tuesday in the courtroom of state District Judge Ellen Kovach but the trial will be delayed due to icy weather conditions. Opening arguments could begin Thursday. Gasser’s attorneys have cast McKnight as the aggressor and are expected to argue Gasser fired in self-defense.
If convicted as charged, Gasser would face a mandatory sentence of life in prison.
Police said the confrontation took place as the men traveled across a Mississippi River bridge in New Orleans and on roads in neighboring Jefferson Parish.
Authorities said the shooting happened after both cars had stopped and McKnight approached Gasser’s vehicle. Gasser shot McKnight three times.
Defense attorneys said last year that they believe McKnight tried to enter Gasser’s car through the passenger window. They noted that Gasser stayed on the scene after the shooting and said he cooperated with police.
The case bore striking similarities to an earlier 2016 shooting death involving another former NFL player. Will Smith, who retired after starring on New Orleans Saints teams that inspired the city after Hurricane Katrina with winning seasons and a 2010 Super Bowl victory, was shot to death during a confrontation following a traffic crash. A 29-year-old New Orleans man, Cardell Hayes, was sentenced to 25 years in prison after a jury convicted him of manslaughter.
This story has been corrected to show that Gasser is 56.
Winning is an easy sell.
The Philadelphia Eagles are the first team since the 1990 New York Giants to reach a Super Bowl without a player totaling 1,000 scrimmage yards though running backs Jay Ajayi and LeGarrette Blount and wide receivers Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith have done so in the past.
That group plus Pro Bowl tight end Zach Ertz, wide receiver Nelson Agholor and others have bought into a team-first, unselfish concept. They’re not checking their stats after games. The only number they cared about all season was the win column.
One more against New England in the Super Bowl brings home the team’s first NFL title since 1960.
”I think this group of guys is as good as you could ask to be around,” offensive coordinator Frank Reich said. ”Really Authentic Todd Gurley Jersey , the character and the work ethic, the camaraderie, just the commitment to the process that Coach (Doug Pederson) and our staff is always talking about. There’s a complete buy-in.
”It really helps that we’ve had the success and the execution. It’s always easier to buy in when you’re having the success that we’ve had.”
Blount didn’t even get a carry in a loss at Kansas City in Week 2. Then he ran for a season-high 136 yards two weeks later at the Chargers. It was the only 100-yard rushing performance by Philadelphia this season.
Blount, who led the NFL with 18 rushing touchdowns with New England last year, led the Eagles with 766 yards rushing but his touches decreased after Ajayi was acquired from Miami.
”You can’t be selfish when everybody has one common goal,” Blount said. ”You have to make sacrifices for the betterment of the team. We’ve done that and it’s gotten us this far.”
Ajayi came to Philadelphia with a reputation for selfishness, but it hasn’t been an issue. He kneeled on the turf and sobbed after the Eagles beat Minnesota in the NFC championship game.
”It’s a special feeling to not be done and to still have our goal of winning a Super Bowl right there in front of us,” he said.
Jeffery was the go-to man in Chicago before joining the Eagles. He didn’t have one 100-yard game, but led the team with nine TD catches.
”We’re not looking at numbers, just going out there and playing,” Jeffery said. ”No matter who’s out there having a great game JK Scott Jersey , or whoever the ball’s going to, as long as we’re doing our job and just catching and working and getting those wins, that’s all that matters.”
There were no ”throw me the damn ball” moments in Philadelphia’s locker room.
”I didn’t have to sell it too much,” Pederson said. ”These guys are unselfish players. They are team players. I think any time that you factor in the wins, and they’re contributing to the wins, it sort of minimizes or sort of takes away the (idea) that, `I’ve got to have 1,000 yards; I got to have 10 touchdowns; I’ve got to rush for this many yards and have this many touchdowns.’ I think it minimizes that a little bit, because the team is doing well and the success of the offense.”