The man who authorities said shot and killed Roughrider running back Joe McKnight has been charged with second-degree murder.
Ronald Gasser was originally facing charges of manslaughter in relation to McKnight’s death.
Gasser’s bond has been raised to $750,000 in response to the upgraded charges. If convicted, he faces a life sentence without the possibility of parole.
Twenty-seven-year-old McKnight was shot and killed on Dec. 1, 2016 following a road rage incident with Gasser. According to investigators, McKnight cut Gasser off in traffic and a chase between the two men spanned several kilometres until both men were stopped at a traffic light.
At that point, according to police, McKnight got out of his car and went towards Gasser who fired three shots at him.
On Dec. 6 the Jefferson-Parish Country Sheriff said the lesser charge made the most sense at that time.
“Collectively we felt that manslaughter was the charge that most appropriately fit the evidence we have,” Sheriff Newell Normand said, but added as more evidence is gathered the charge could change.
McKnight joined the Roughriders in October of the 2016 season and had a standout start, rushing for 150 yards in three quarters of play.
Head coach Chris Jones said after his death, McKnight was definitely in their plans going forward.
“I woke up this morning hoping maybe I dreamed it,” Jones said.
“It just kills me, he’s still just 28 years old, had a lot of life left, regardless whether he had football or not you know? It’s just a terrible loss.”