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Sentencing Nears For Ex-NFL Running Back’s Killer

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GRETNA, La. (AP) — The man convicted of manslaughter in the 2016 road-rage shooting death of former NFL running back Joe McKnight faces sentencing in a suburban New Orleans courtroom on Thursday.

Ronald Gasser, 56, could get up to 40 years in prison.

Gasser was convicted Jan. 26.

Defense lawyers argued that Gasser fired in self-defense when McKnight walked up to his car following a 5-mile rolling confrontation that began on a bridge spanning the Mississippi River in New Orleans and ended with gunfire in neighboring Jefferson Parish.

Witnesses at the trial said McKnight had been weaving in and out of traffic at high speed before the shooting. Prosecutors acknowledged to the jury that he was, in the words of Assistant District Attorney Seth Shute, “driving like a jerk.” But they argued that Gasser escalated the conflict, following him down an exit that he would not ordinarily have taken moments prior to the shooting.


Shute acknowledged that McKnight had a hand on the open, passenger side window of Gasser’s car before he was shot. But he said physical evidence proved Gasser lied during extensive police questioning when he claimed McKnight lunged at him.

McKnight had been a high school football hero at Louisiana’s John Curtis Christian School. He signed with the University of Southern California in 2006. In the NFL, he played three seasons for the New York Jets and one with the Kansas City Chiefs.

Gasser was indicted on a second-degree murder charge in McKnight’s death. The jury voted 10-2 for the lesser verdict of manslaughter.

Gasser did not leave the scene of the shooting and he was released for a time after being questioned. He is white and his release after the shooting of the black athlete sparked protests at the time from some who said race was a factor.

Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand, who has since retired, denied that race played any role and noted that a thorough investigation led to Gasser’s arrest and indictment. Prosecutors later recounted a painstaking investigation including an extensive search for witnesses and physical evidence that eventually led to Gasser being charged.

The case in some ways echoed another New Orleans-area road-rage shooting from 2016. Former New Orleans Saints star Will Smith was gunned down in that April incident. The shooter was later convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to 25 years.

Associated Press

Dallas

How four Dallas-area teams made history at 2019 boys basketball state finals

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SAN ANTONIO — Minutes after Duncanville secured the Class 6A state championship by beating Klein Forest, coach David Peavy stood in the middle of the Alamodome court and shared a reason for his relief.

His relaxation didn’t set in just from senior guard Jahmius Ramsey connecting on a go-ahead layup through traffic to propel the 73-69 win. The satisfaction wasn’t only because Duncanville claimed its first state championship since 2007 during Peavy’s first season, either.

Instead, Peavy was also “just glad we didn’t mess it up,” as the fourth of four Dallas-area programs to play for — and win — state titles Saturday.

For the first time since the UIL expanded to six classes in 2015, the Dallas area claimed trophies in all four of the top brackets: first Madison in 3A, then Mansfield Timberview in 5A, then Oak Cliff Faith Family in 4A and finally Duncanville in 6A.

Add in Slidell, the Class A champion from a small, unincorporated farm-and-ranch town about a half-hour northwest of Denton, and the greater Dallas area’s prowess accounted for five of the season’s six state victors.


“Dallas is different,” said Peavy, who coached the previous three seasons at Houston Dekaney. “There’s really good basketball in Houston, but it’s a different feeling in Dallas, and the expectation in Dallas and the pride that Dallas has to dominate the state, it’s like no other. Until you’ve gotten into it, you just don’t understand.”

A season ago, local teams had a chance to win three titles, but just Allen won in Class 6A, while Justin Northwest (5A) and Carter (4A) fell in the finals. In 2016, DeSoto (6A), Lancaster (5A) and Lincoln (4A) took the top three classes.

Fast forward to 2019, and close finishes turned in Dallas’ favor.

The championship slate Saturday started with Madison’s second Class 3A state title in the last three years. Forward Warren Dunn served as hero by sinking a free throw with three seconds left to seal the 49-48 win over Brock.

Timberview’s 77-64 victory over San Antonio Wagner — a revenge match after Wagner downed the Wolves in late December — was the only one that didn’t require a comeback. Five players scored in double figures, led by guard CJ Smith’s 24, to, like Madison, earn a second crown since 2017.

Faith Family’s triumph over Liberty Hill was perhaps most improbable. The Eagles trailed by 12 in the second half, then took a seven-point lead in the fourth quarter, and then relied on freshman Jordan Walsh’s buzzer-beating dunk to finish the 53-51 win.

And finally, Duncanville managed a second-half comeback for the fifth time in seven games this postseason. Junior Micah Peavy, the game’s MVP, and Ramsey combined for 41 points and 22 rebounds to complete the sweep.

“I’m thankful to coach in an area like this that’s so talent-rich,” Faith Family coach Brandon Thomas said. “Otherwise, man, it’ll eat you alive.”

Timberview coach Duane Gregory has offered this example throughout the season: If someone dropped a pin in the middle of the Wolves’ gym in Mansfield and drew a 20-mile radius around it, that might offer a glimpse at the depth, competition and talent Dallas teams boast.

While six of the state’s top-seven seniors, according to 247Sports.com recruiting rankings, are graduating from Dallas-area programs this season, there’s reason for optimism in 2020.

The region returns four of the top six player in Texas for the Class of 2020, and now four state champions, too.

“The area is just rich with talent and tradition,” Gregory said. “For these guys to do what they did this year with the schedule that we played, I couldn’t be prouder.”

State championship winners by class

Class Winner
1A Slidell
2A Shelbyville
3A Madison
4A Oak Cliff Faith Family
5A Mansfield Timberview
6A Duncanville

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Cleveland Browns signed Kareem Hunt and Kaepernick still banned for kneeling

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n the latest move to prove the NFL is trash, the Cleveland Browns have signed Kareem Hunt, the running back who was released by the Kansas City Chiefs after a video showed him knocking over and kicking a woman.

According to the New York Daily News, Hunt was released by the Chiefs in November after video captured in February appeared to show Hunt in a Cleveland hotel hallway assaulting a woman. Even stranger, Hunt is still on the Commissioner’s exempt list meaning that he’s still not technically in the NFL but that didn’t stop the Browns from signing the running back. “The league is still investigating the said video, as well as two other incidents in which Hunt allegedly punched a man at a resort and took part in a separate club altercation,” the Daily News reports.

“My relationship and interaction with Kareem since 2016 in college was an important part of this decision-making process but we then did extensive due diligence with many individuals, including clinical professionals, to have a better understanding of the person he is today and whether it was prudent to sign him,” Browns general manager John Dorsey in a statement. “There were two important factors: one is that Kareem took full responsibility for his egregious actions and showed true remorse and secondly, just as importantly, he is undergoing and is committed to necessary professional treatment and a plan that has been clearly laid out.

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NFL Star Jahleel Addae And His Caucasian Wife Toast To ‘More Lightskin Kids’ with friends

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Yes, colorism is still a thing in 2019 and folks are actually out here plotting on how to make lighter babies. Los Angeles Charger Jahleel Addae his fiancée Lindsey Nelson are under fire for some ignorant comments they made that were captured on Lindsey’s Instagram story.

The couple and their friends, a table full of Black men and their White girlfriends, made a toast to “more light skinned kids.” SMH.

Jahleel must’ve known that the wrath of the Internet was underway because he made his Instagram page private after the video went viral.


Chiiile, the self-hate is too real for it to be Black History Month.

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