Wednesday, 12 December, 2018

Jury convicts Ronald Gasser of manslaughter in Joe McKnight road rage death

Man convicted in road rage fatal shooting of ex-NFL player Joe McKnight Ronald Gasser found guilty of manslaughter in Joe McKnight shooting death
| 28 January, 2018, 01:10

Closing arguments wrapped up Friday morning in the second-degree murder trial of Ronald Gasser.

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. "He (Gasser) felt Mr. McKnight challenged him on the bridge", prosecutor Seth Schute told the jury. Defense attorney argued Gasser feared for his life when he shot McKnight from his drivers seat.

Gasser claimed self-defense, saying McKnight had lunged at him, but investigators argued the lack of gunpowder residue on McKnight's body suggested the former National Football League player had not been as close to Gasser as he had claimed to law enforcement. He could face upto 40 years in prison.

Judge Ellen Shirer Kovach of 24th Judicial District Court will sentence Gasser on March 15th. "Gasser said, 'I'm not going to let it go.' If either of them had let it go, we wouldn't be here today".

He is facing a charge of second degree murder in the shooting death of former Saskatchewan Roughrider Joe McKnight.

Defense attorney Matthew Goetz said he would appeal.


Shute acknowledged that McKnight had a hand on the open, passenger side window of Gasser's vehicle before he was shot.

Jurors began deliberations Friday afternoon in the case.

Gasser did not seek a confrontation at the traffic light where McKnight exited his own vehicle and walked up to Gasser's passenger window.

According to prosecutors, Gasser escalated the situation by pursuing McKnight on a five-mile high-speed chase.

"Joe McKnight was a loving father and a genuine, kindhearted person", the Jets said in a statement on December 2, 2016. He played three years of college ball at USC, amassing 2,213 yards and 13 touchdowns on the ground.

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