Jury convicts man in shooting death of ex-NFL player Joe McKnight

  • Jury convicts man in shooting death of ex-NFL player Joe McKnight

Jury convicts man in shooting death of ex-NFL player Joe McKnight

A Louisiana jury on Friday convicted a man who was accused of fatally shooting former National Football League player Joe McKnight in an act of extreme road rage.

The jury deliberated for over seven hours on Friday after hearing six days of testimony during the trial, per the New Orleans Times-Picayune.

Per NOLA.com, Gasser admitted to shooting McKnight while sitting behind the wheel of his vehicle as McKnight stood at the open window on the passenger side December 1, 2016, in Terrytown, La., a suburb of New Orleans. Prosecutors said Gasser falsely claimed McKnight tried to lunge into Gasser's auto when it was stopped at a traffic light.

Defense attorneys claimed Gasser feared for his life when he opened fire from his driver's seat at McKnight, who was standing at his open passenger-side window. Prosecutors said an autopsy disproved Gasser's claim that McKnight lunged at him, while acknowledging the 28 year old McKnight was driving dangerously. Gasser faces a maximum of 40 years in prison.

Shute acknowledged that McKnight had a hand on the open, passenger side window of Gasser's vehicle before he was shot. A sentencing date was set for March 15. "He chose to nearly run Ronnie off an embankment", Goetz said. "Gasser said, 'I'm not going to let it go.' If either of them had let it go, we wouldn't be here today".

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

McKnight went on to play at the University of Southern California before being drafted in 2010 by NY, where he played until 2012. He racked up 2,213 yards and 13 touchdowns and caught 66 passes for 542 yards and two scores in three seasons.

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