Closing arguments in former Rider Joe McKnight murder trial are underway

Had Gasser been convicted of second-degree murder he would have received an automatic life sentence.

The 56-year-old man had admitted to shooting McKnight on December 1, 2016 from the driver's seat of his auto and through the passenger's side window of McKnight's vehicle. "Mr. Gasser thought that Mr. McKnight had thrown the gauntlet down", Shute told jurors, later adding: "He followed him off the exit".

Closing arguments wrapped up Friday morning in the second-degree murder trial of Ronald Gasser.

His defense insisted Gasser feared for his life after McKnight reached into Gasser's passenger side window, and shot McKnight in self defense.

The former USC star & New York Jets RB was shot down by 54-year-old Ronald Gasser who stuck around at the scene and even handed his gun over to police.

Jurors began deliberations Friday afternoon in the case.

Gasser shot McKnight after what prosecutors say was a road rage incident that included aggressive driving along a 5 mile (8 kilometer) route.

Shute acknowledged that McKnight had a hand on the open, passenger side window of Gasser's vehicle before he was shot.

Authorities called the incident that led to the deadly shooting a "mutual road rage" chase, the Times-Picayune reported, with both drivers yelling at each other and giving each other the middle finger for five miles.

The two reportedly began aggressively weaving through traffic before McKnight was followed off an exit by Gasser.

McKnight had been considered one of the best running backs in the country while playing at the University of Southern California in 2007. He sat out 2013, played 2014 with the Chiefs and 2015 with the Saskatchewan Roughriders and the Edmonton Eskimos of the Canadian Football League.

Gasser said he shot McKnight after the former football player "lunged" in his blue Infiniti when the men stopped at the Terrytown intersection. Sheriff Newell Normand of Jefferson Parish, who has since retired, angrily denied that race had played any role in the case.

  • Tracy Klein