“Not going down that easy,” must be the philosophy of Cardel Hayes, Will Smith killer.
Facing a raft of civil lawsuits, Will Smith killer, now convict, this week filed his own suit against the former Saints player’s widow, Racquel Smith and another man his attorney has portrayed as the fatal incident’s primary instigator.
In a bizarre twist, Cardell Hayes, now known as Will Smith killer, on Monday filed a lawsuit in Orleans Parish Civil District Court seeking damages from Racquel Smith, whom he wounded and husband, Will Smith he gunned down; Richard Hernandez; and their insurance companies.
Racquel Smith and Hernandez had sued Hayes on Friday. Hernandez’s wife and brother-in-law had filed similar suits against Hayes before that.
Hayes’ lawsuit claims the insurance companies, Hernandez and Racquel Smith — as the manager of her late husband’s estate — owe him damages for assault and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
Hayes’ lawsuit offers a version of events that is similar to the one he asserted at the trial in December where he was found guilty of manslaughter and attempted manslaughter.
According to Hayes’ suit, after Will Smith had drinks at the French Quarter Festival, Barcadia and Sake Cafe on April 9, 2016, Smith drove Racquel Smith, Richard Hernandez and Hernandez’s wife — Rebecca Dooley — in his Mercedes-Benz SUV down Magazine Street.
Will Smith hit the back of Hayes’ Hummer as Hayes slowed for traffic but then drove away without checking on whether he had caused any damage, the lawsuit alleges.
The Will Smith killer suit says he and a passenger followed the Mercedes, in an effort to jot down its license plate number. Smith then “slammed” on his brakes on nearby Sophie Wright Place, and Hayes inadvertently rammed into the back of the Mercedes, the lawsuit says.
The Mercedes was pushed into an Impala being driven by Dooley’s brother, Jonathan Whipple.
The lawsuit says Hernandez then took off his shirt and charged at Hayes while screaming profanities. The lawsuit also accuses Hernandez of wrapping a shiny object in his T-shirt and twice swinging unsuccessfully at Hayes.
Meanwhile, Will Smith threw “his entire alcoholic beverage” at Hayes’ face and punched him, according to the lawsuit. A toxicology test found the ex-Super Bowl champion’s blood alcohol level was nearly three times the legal limit, the suit notes.
The lawsuit doesn’t mention that Hayes eventually fired a gun nine times after the angry confrontation. One bullet struck Racquel Smith in both legs. Will Smith died after being hit by eight rounds — seven of them to his back.
Hernandez soon hopped into a taxi and fled the scene by himself.
Hayes was later charged with murder and attempted murder. At his trial he claimed he fired in self-defense. Prosecutors countered that the evidence recovered by investigators didn’t support important aspects of his story.