Jury finds Gasser guilty of manslaughter in McKnight killing

Ronald Gasser left was found guilty of manslaughter Friday in the death of ex-NFL player Joe McKnight right

Ronald Gasser left was found guilty of manslaughter Friday in the death of ex-NFL player Joe McKnight right

In December of 2016, Gasser pulled a weapon from his auto and shot McKnight who was standing outside of the vehicle after a road rage incident at an intersection near New Orleans.

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

Per NOLA.com, Gasser admitted to shooting McKnight while sitting behind the wheel of his auto as McKnight stood at the open window on the passenger side December 1, 2016, in Terrytown, La., a suburb of New Orleans. "He (Gasser) felt Mr. McKnight challenged him on the bridge", prosecutor Seth Schute told the jury.

But prosecutors said physical evidence, including the lack of gunpowder residue on McKnight's body, disputed Gasser's account and showed the two men were farther apart than Gasser has asserted.

With the manslaughter charge, Gasser could be sentenced anywhere from zero to 40 years.

The former USC star & New York Jets RB was shot down by 54-year-old Ronald Gasser who stuck around at the scene and even handed his gun over to police.

Gasser was found guilty of manslaughter, not the initial charge of second-degree murder, which carries a mandatory life sentence.

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Investigators later said the shooting was the result of a five-mile "mutual road rage" incident, per the Times-Picayune's Littice Bacon-Blood.

Defense attorney Matthew Goetz said he would appeal.

Authorities have said McKnight and Gasser drove erratically and yelled at each other in a traffic confrontation before the shooting.

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

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

McKnight was considered the No. 1 running back recruit in the country when he came out of John Curtis Christian School in Louisiana in 2006. He spent a season in the Canadian Football League, playing two games for the Edmonton Eskimos and three for the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

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