Ronald Gasser found guilty of manslaughter in shooting death of Joe McKnight

Ronald Gasser found guilty of manslaughter in shooting death of Joe McKnight

Ronald Gasser found guilty of manslaughter in shooting death of Joe McKnight

Gasser, 56, was initially charged with second-degree murder. His assistants who tried the case told reporters they respect the verdict and added that the McKnight family was pleased with it.

Gasser admitted to shooting McKnight, 28, through his open passenger door window as McKnight stood near Gasser's auto on December 1, 2016.

Closing arguments wrapped up Friday morning. However, he said it was in self-defense, that McKnight was attempting to get inside his vehicle and that he feared for his life.

The former USC star & New York Jets RB was shot down by 54-year-old Ronald Gasser who stuck around at the scene and even handed his gun over to police.

Louisiana requires only 10 of 12 jurors to come to the same conclusion about a defendant's guilt, unless the case involves the death penalty.

Gasser shot McKnight after what prosecutors say was a road rage incident that included aggressive driving along a 5 mile (8 kilometer) route.

Authorities have said McKnight and Gasser drove erratically and yelled at each other in a traffic confrontation before the shooting.

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During the trial, Gasser alleged that he shot McKnight when he lunged at him.

However, the prosecution argued that by perceiving National Football League player's driving as a challenge, Gasser escalated the incident by trying to cut him off the road.

Gasser did not seek a confrontation at the traffic light where McKnight exited his own vehicle and walked up to Gasser's passenger window.

McKnight had been considered one of the best running backs in the country while playing at the University of Southern California in 2007.

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.

McKnight, driving his stepfather's Audi Q7, cut off Gasser, who gave chase, Normand said.

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

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