Ronald Gasser Convicted of Manslaughter in Fatal Shooting of Joe McKnight

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He could have faced life in prison if convicted of second-degree murder.

McKnight was considered the no 1 running back in the country in 2006 when he graduated from John Curtis Christian School in Louisiana.

"We do not dispute that he was driving like a jerk", Assistant District Attorney Seth Shute told jurors in closing arguments, alluding to witness testimony that McKnight weaved in and out of traffic, cutting Gasser and others off, at high speed.

Defense attorneys said Gasser fired in self-defense when McKnight approached his vehicle after the confrontation.

Per NOLA.com, Gasser admitted to shooting McKnight while sitting behind the wheel of his vehicle as McKnight stood at the open window on the passenger side December 1, 2016, in Terrytown, La., a suburb of New Orleans.

Gasser gave police a.40-caliber pistol and admitted shooting McKnight, Normand said in the first days of the investigation. "Gasser said, 'I'm not going to let it go.' If either of them had let it go, we wouldn't be here today".

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But Shute said Gasser escalated the danger, taking McKnight's driving as a challenge.

A defense lawyer said McKnight was the aggressor throughout and that Gasser fired in self-defense, fearing McKnight would come through his passenger window.

Gasser's release ignited protests, and the authorities were accused of letting Gasser go because he is white and McKnight was black.

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.

McKnight emerged as a star in his three seasons with USC, rushing for 1,014 yards and eight touchdowns as a senior in 2009. In CFl, he played two games for the Edmonton Eskimos and three for the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

Prosecutors later recounted a painstaking effort including an extensive search for witnesses and physical evidence that eventually led to Gasser being charged.

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