Finally, a verdict has been cast over the man responsible for shooting and killing, former NFL running back, and USC star Joe McKnight, on December 1st, 2016. The man responsible for gunning down Mcknight is Ronald Gasser, he will be convicted of second-degree manslaughter and serve a prison sentence up to 30 years.
BREAKING: After victim impact statements, judge sentences Ronald Gasser to 30 years in road rage killing of former NFL player Joe McKnight: https://t.co/diabmZOOm2
— Michelle Hunter NOLA (@MichelleHunter) March 15, 2018
Gasser’s defense lawyers argued that self-defense was the reasoning behind why Gasser decided to pull the trigger and shoot McKnight three times. Lawyers explaining that McKnight initiated the confrontation, walking up to his car window aggressively, which prompted Gasser to begin firing at McKnight.
The confrontation between Gasser and Mcknight lasted for about 5 miles starting on a bridge spanning the Mississippi River. The chase eventually ended with gunfire, and the death of Joe McKnight, inside a residential neighborhood in New Orleans.
The judge assigned to this case, Ellen Kovach, spoke on the overall impact of the deadly confrontation.
“Let this be a cautionary tale,” Judge Ellen Kovach said. McKnight’s death could have been avoided “if either of the men had had the good sense, the courage and the wisdom to simply disengage.”
— Around The NFL (@AroundTheNFL) March 15, 2018
Witnesses from the case, relayed to the jury that McKnight was driving aggressively, on December 1st, 2016, specifically saying he was “driving like a jerk.” But it was apparent that Gasser escalated the preventable situation when deciding to follow McKnight’s vehicle instead of staying on his intended route.
Valuable physical evidence was produced for the jury that eventually proved Gasser lied during his initial questioning to police. Specifically, when he said McKnight aggressively “lunged at him.”
Joe McKnight’s family and friends leaving the Jefferson Parish courthouse after addressing the media. His mother Jennifer said she was pleased with the 30 year sentence given Ronald Gasser. Gasser is the Gretna man who killed McKnight after a road rage fueled encounter on the WB pic.twitter.com/SQr2MTDje5
— Paul Murphy (@PMurphyWWL) March 15, 2018
Among the number of testimony’s given during the trial, McKnight’s mother’s stood out, delivering a heart rendering statement.
“You took my child from me. My child. Everybody says Joe McKnight, the football player. But he’s Joe McKnight, my son … That day, you didn’t have to do that. That didn’t have to happen. It hurts. It’s going to hurt a long time.” McKnight’s mother said.
“Ronald Gasser hears me when I say, it will be my life’s mission to make sure my son Jayden doesn’t grow up with hate for you. Not because you don’t deserve it, but because he should not have hate in his heart.”
Joe McKnight was a Louisiana high school football legend, attending John Curtis Christian School. He eventually went on to star at running back for the University of Southern California in 2006. He played three seasons in the NFL, two seasons with the New York Jets and one with the Kansas City Chiefs.
R.I.P Joe McKnight.
RIP Joe McKnight! 🙏 pic.twitter.com/VKESlPCOOW
— LoyalNYJetFans (@loyalnyjetfans) February 14, 2018