Will Smith's Alleged Murderer Is A Former High School Football Star [UPDATES]

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Update (12:54 p.m.): The New Orleans Advocate reports Will Smith ate dinner with former New Orleans police captain Billy Ceravolo shortly before being murdered. Ceravolo was a defendant in a high-profile lawsuit filed by Cardell Hayes over the shooting death of Hayes’s father in 2005. The Advocate reports Ceravolo, who was personal friends of both Smith and Pierre Thomas, was not at the scene of the shooting. The original story continues below.


New Orleans police charged Cardell Hayes with murder after last night’s shooting incident that left former Saints Pro Bowl defensive end Will Smith dead and his wife, Racquel, hospitalized. The Times-Picayune reports today the accused killer is a former prep football star in that city.

Scout.com ranked Hayes among its top high school recruits from the state of Louisiana in 2004, though the Times-Picayune notes it’s not clear where Hayes ended up playing college football, if anywhere. Hayes’s original scouting report indicated he had interest from LSU and Florida, among other schools. The paper also reports Hayes appears to have been playing in the Gridiron Developmental Football League, a minor league football organization, as recently as last year.

Police say Hayes got into an altercation with Smith after rear-ending the former Saints star’s Mercedes. Hayes remained at the scene after the shooting to be detained and taken in for questioning.

Update (1:38 p.m.): Cardinals defensive back Tyrann Mathieu claims to know the alleged killer: