Published: Sun, January 28, 2018
Sports | By Brett Lawson

Joe McKnight Shooter Guilty of Manslaughter ... Faces 40 Years

Joe McKnight Shooter Guilty of Manslaughter ... Faces 40 Years

A jury has found Ronald Gasser guilty of manslaughter in the road rage shooting death of Joe McKnight.

Closing arguments wrapped up Friday morning.

Police said the death had followed a 5-mile rolling confrontation that began with dangerously aggressive driving on a New Orleans bridge and ended with McKnight being shot as he stood outside Gasser's auto at a suburban intersection.

Attorneys on both sides spent the week trying to convince the jury of which person - Gasser or McKnight - was the aggressor.

Gasser said he shot McKnight after the former football player "lunged" in his blue Infiniti when the men stopped at the Terrytown intersection.

Manslaughter carries a maximum prison sentence of 40 years.

McKnight, who was 28 at the time of his death, played for the New York Jets from 2010 to 2012 before catching on with the Chiefs in 2014.

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Gasser shot McKnight after what prosecutors said was a road rage incident that included aggressive driving along a five mile route. "We're obviously disappointed with the verdict", he told The New Orleans Advocate as he left the courthouse. State District Judge Ellen Kovach set a March 15 sentencing date.

Gasser's defense team claimed McKnight aggressively pursued Gasser, but witness testimony disputed such a claim.

McKnight went on to play at the University of Southern California before being drafted in 2010 by NY, where he played until 2012.

Prosecutors told jurors Friday that the evidence shows Gasser angrily pursued McKnight and shot him from inside his own vehicle.

Defense attorney Matthew Goetz said he would appeal. He played three years of college ball at USC, amassing 2,213 yards and 13 touchdowns on the ground.

McKnight tore his Achilles shortly after that game and later caught on with a couple of teams in the Canadian Football League. The killing happened in December 2016.

But authorities didn't indict Gasser until some weeks after the shooting.

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