YardBarker- A passenger who was riding in the car with Cardell Hayes the night Will Smith was murdered claims Hayes saved his life by shooting the former NFL defensive end.
Tanzanike Ruffin, the attorney for Hayes’ passenger Kevin Oneale, released a statement Tuesday night labeling Hayes’ actions “justifiable homicide.”
“My client believes that Cardell saved his life,” Ruffin said, via WDSU in New Orleans. “Smith had a gun and was going to shoot it and Cardell may have saved both of their lives … in my mind this is justifiable homicide. Was Will Smith acting like a Saint? This was a hit-and-run that ended up in a tragedy. You’ve got the aggression of two football players, facing off with each other as if they are on the field and you are going to get your point across by any means necessary.”
I don't know about you, but considering that Cardell Hayes isn't a taxi driver I am treating the word "passenger" as the equivalent of "friend". So no, I am not surprised that a friend of Cardell Hayes and his hired attorney are doing their best to make him seem like a sympathetic figure. Be that as it may, reading Tanzinlike Ruffin (hell of a litigious name) describe a person putting multiple bullets into the back of a vulnerable man, and then putting two more in the leg of his wife as "justifiable homicide" was the first time I have legitimately laughed while covering this tragedy. Thanks for the chuckle Tanzinlike, but to say that Will Smith - a prominent public figure - was going to break out a gun and shoot a random lunatic in a very public area of the city is beyond stupid. This was an argument that stemmed from, quite literally, the smallest accident I have ever seen in my entire life. Will Smith had financial stability, a family, and a future. So yeah, I have my doubts that someone with no such history was going to senselessly slay a stranger in the streets over a situation that can only be described as avoidable. That would be Pacman Jones-level idiocy from a person that has proven - over the course of a decade - to be a great ambassador of football, a caring family man, and a selfless, charitable human being. Call me biased, but I am thinking that the testimony of the shooter's passenger/associate/accomplice isn't going to get a murderer off the hook or truly besmirch the good name of the victim. It was a nice try though.