Ronald Gasser Charged with Second-Degree Murder in Death of Joe McKnight

McKnight, former NFL running back, was shot and killed last December during a traffic dispute in Terrytown.

The Louisiana man accused of killing McKnight, was charged with one count of second-degree murder on Thursday according to prosecutors. Ronald Gasser, 55, was originally charged with manslaughter and is being held with a higher bond of $750,000.

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Ronald Gasser Jr. sits at the scene of the fatal shooting of football star Joe McKnight in the New Orleans suburb of Terrytown on Dec. 1

The Times-Picayune recounts the events leading up to McKnight’s death:

McKnight, 28, a former NFL player and local high school football standout, was shot and killed Dec. 1 at Behrman Highway and Holmes Boulevard. Authorities say he and Gasser first crossed paths near the Crescent City Connection, where McKnight’s Audi possibly cut off Gasser’s blue Infiniti.
Gasser chased McKnight’s Audi to Behrman and Holmes, authorities said. There, McKnight got out of his car and approached Gasser’s car, authorities said. Gasser, still seated in the car, fired three shots at McKnight, who was standing at the passenger window of Gasser’s car at the time.

charge in Joe McKnight's death Ronald Gasser Booking Photo.jpg Ronald Gasser, the man authorities say shot and killed Joe McKnight during an apparent road-rage incident in Terrytown, has been indicted on one count of second-degree murder, the Jefferson Parish District Attorney's Office announced Thursday (Feb. 2). (Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office) Print Email Jonathan Bullington, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune By Jonathan Bullington, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune Follow on Twitter on February 02, 2017 at 1:53 PM, updated February 02, 2017 at 11:10 PM Ronald Gasser, the man authorities say shot and killed Joe McKnight during an apparent road-rage incident in Terrytown, has been indicted on one count of second-degree murder, the Jefferson Parish District Attorney's Office announced Thursday (Feb. 2). Gasser, 55, was originally arrested Dec. 5 on a manslaughter charge, four days after the shooting. "Subsequent to that arrest, the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office and the Jefferson Parish District Attorney's Office continued working together in a collaborative effort to develop additional evidence regarding the case," a release from District Attorney Paul Connick states. McKnight cut off Gasser, who then gave chase in road rage: sheriff McKnight cut off Gasser, who then gave chase in road rage: sheriff McKnight and Gasser argued with each other throughout the road rage chase, Sheriff Newell Normand said Tuesday. Judge June Darensburg increased Gasser's bond from $500,000 to $750,000 following the indictment. If convicted, he faces a life sentence without the possibility of parole, probation or suspended sentence. Attorneys for Gasser did not immediately return messages seeking comment. George Tucker, an attorney for McKnight's family, said the family was confident Thursday's indictment would come. "The mom is relieved and the sister is just as relieved," Tucker said. "And they have a great deal of confidence the people will be able to view the facts and come back with a just verdict. And hopefully that will give Joe the vindication that he needs." McKnight, 28, a former NFL player and local high school football standout, was shot and killed Dec. 1 at Behrman Highway and Holmes Boulevard. Authorities say he and Gasser first crossed paths near the Crescent City Connection, where McKnight's Audi possibly cut off Gasser's blue Infiniti. Gasser chased McKnight's Audi to Behrman and Holmes, authorities said. There, McKnight got out of his car and approached Gasser's car, authorities said. Gasser, still seated in the car, fired three shots at McKnight, who was standing at the passenger window of Gasser's car at the time. Ronald Gasser Joe McKnight shooter Ronald Gasser, who authrities say killed Joe McKnight, is seen sitting on the ground at the scene where he shot the ex-NFL player in Terrytown on Thursday, Dec. 1, 2016. (Handout photo) Manuel Torres, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune. "What we had were two adult males engaged in unacceptable behavior, (who) did not understand how to deal with conflict resolution, and this thing went to a point that unfortunately led to incredibly tragic consequences over bad driving behavior and bad spoken words," Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand said during a press conference immediately following Gasser's arrest. Gasser remained at the scene when Jefferson Parish deputies arrived, and was taken into custody. He was not formally arrested until Dec. 5. The delay sparked protests against the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office and Normand, who held two different press conferences in which he angrily defended the investigation. "Our arrest is only as good as a prosecution," Normand said. "We accomplish nothing if we make an arrest and we can't put ourselves in the best posture to reach a successful prosecution." 1 / 19 A crime scene technician photographs the body of former NFL player Joe McKnight between the shooter's vehicle at left and his Audi SUV at right as the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office investigates the scene at Behrman Highway and Holmes Blvd. in Terrytown on Thursday, December 1, 2016. (Photo by Michael DeMocker, NOLA.com

A crime scene technician photographs the body of former NFL player Joe McKnight between the shooter’s vehicle at left and his Audi SUV at right as the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office investigates the scene at Behrman Highway and Holmes Blvd. in Terrytown on Thursday, December 1, 2016. (Photo by Michael DeMocker, NOLA.com

The Jefferson Parish District Attorney’s Office announced the charges Thursday. If convicted, Gasser faces life in prison without the possibility of parole, probation or suspended sentence.

 

 

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