Jurors reviewed video footage and listened to witnesses testify in the first few days of former Saskatchewan Roughrider Joe McKnight’s murder trial in Gretna, La., according to the New Orleans Times-Picayune.
One witness who took the stand, a retired member of the U.S. Navy, described how he was first to encounter McKnight’s killer, Ronald Gasser, after the three shots were fired at the former professional football player on Dec. 1, 2016.
The man spoke of how he, too, thought he’d be shot when Gasser stiffly spun and pointed the gun at him when he stopped to investigate the situation. He explained how Gasser quickly put the gun down when told he was just going to help the injured McKnight. The man and another two people then tried giving McKnight CPR while Gasser attempted to clarify what had happened.
Another witness, a former police officer, told jurors how she was stopped at a red light when she saw Gasser with a gun in his hand and McKnight on the ground, propped up by his elbows. She then called 911.
Jurors also reviewed pieced-together surveillance footage from cameras at traffic lights and local businesses, which appears to show McKnight speeding behind Gasser. However, one witness testimony revealed both men took turns chasing each other.
Gasser’s attorney claims he gunned down McKnight out of self-defence because the former football player “was trying to kill” him by running him off the road.
More witnesses, who were allegedly there when the road rage incident began, were slated to testify Tuesday afternoon.
In February, Gasser was accused of second-degree murder by a grand jury. He would be sentenced to life in prison, if convicted.
The trial is expected to last the rest of the week.
McKnight spent a season in the CFL, playing three games for the Roughriders and two for the Edmonton Eskimos. He also spent three seasons in the NFL with the New York Jets, and one with the Kansas City Chiefs.
— With files from The Associated Press and the New Orleans Times-Picayune.