Ronald Gasser to Receive New Trial in Death of Joe McKnight After Appeal

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistJuly 16, 2020

FILE - In this Nov. 18, 2012 file photo, New York Jets running back Joe McKnight (25) during the fourth quarter of an NFL football game against the St. Louis Rams in St. Louis. The trial in a road-rage shooting that left McKnight dead was set to begin with jury selection Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018, in a New Orleans suburb. McKnight was shot to death by Ronald Gasser in the December 16 shooting. (AP Photo/Tom Gannam, File)
Tom Gannam/Associated Press

Ronald Gasser, who was convicted of killing former NFL running back Joe McKnight, will receive a new trial after the Louisiana 5th Circuit Court of Appeal vacated his conviction, according to the Associated Press (via ESPN.com).

Gasser was initially ruled guilty of manslaughter in 2018 by 10 of 12 jurors and given a 30-year sentence. However, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against split-jury verdicts in April, retroactively overturning any convictions currently under appeal.

Louisiana ruled Wednesday that Gasser would have his conviction and sentence vacated and that he would receive a new trial.

Gasser admitted to shooting McKnight, 28, at the initial trial, ending a five-mile car chase. The defendant claimed the act was self-defense after McKnight lunged into his car, but the prosecution argued he followed the victim off the highway.

He was tried for second-degree murder, but the jury settled on a lesser charge.

McKnight played for the New York Jets and Kansas City Chiefs from 2010 to 2014. The Louisiana native spent three years at USC before being taken in the fourth round of the 2010 draft.

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