Cardell Hayes was convicted of manslaughter and attempted manslaughter in 2017 after Smith died and the player’s wife was wounded in a shooting during a traffic dispute in New Orleans.
Hayes had argued that he shot the pair in self-defense. He was sentenced to 25 years in prison for manslaughter and attempted manslaughter in a 10-2 decision by the jury.
A U.S. Supreme Court decision from April is casting new light on the trial. The court ruled that Louisiana, as well as Oregon, had unconstitutional laws when it came to allowing split jury convictions, according to the New Orleans Times-Picayune. Prosecutors reportedly acknowledged that the conviction needed to be tossed in a filing with the Supreme Court on Monday.
Those who opposed the law pointed to its 1898 origins in a White supremacist state constitutional convention, the Times-Picayune reported. The newspaper pointed out that the court’s ruling applied to any ruling that wasn’t finalized and that Hayes’ conviction could still be petitioned to the Supreme Court.
It will likely be up to the successor of New Orleans District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro to determine whether to retry Hayes.
The Associated Press contributed to this report