Joe McKnight's killer Ronald Gasser found guilty of manslaughter

Joe Mc Knight was killed in a road rage incident

The man who shot and killed former USC running back Joe McKnight during a road rage incident in 2016 was found guilty of manslaughter Friday night.

Jurors began deliberations Friday afternoon in the case of the 56-year-old Gasser, which involved six days of testimony from state witnesses.

He was arrested on a manslaughter charge December 5, 2016, a few days after shooting, and charged with killing McKnight at a busy intersection in Terrytown following a road rage incident.

Prosecutors told jurors Friday the evidence shows Gasser angrily pursued McKnight and shot him from inside his own vehicle. However, he said it was in self-defense, that McKnight was attempting to get inside his vehicle and that he feared for his life.

Manslaughter carries a maximum prison sentence of 40 years.

McKnight played in the National Football League as a running back for the New York Jets and Kansas City Chiefs from 2010 through 2014.

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. Judge Ellen Kovach of the 24th Judicial District Court then gave the jurors their final instructions. He said "We're obviously disappointed with the verdict".

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

McKnight went on to play at the University of Southern California before being drafted in 2010 by NY, where he played until 2012. Defense attorney Goetz said he planned to file for an appeal, reports said.

The shooting sparked protests in Jefferson Parish after deputies made a decision to release and not immediately charge Gasser, who admitted to shooting McKnight and turned his firearm over to authorities. He signed with the University of Southern California, where he ran for 2,213 yards and 13 touchdowns and caught 66 passes for 542 yards and two scores in three seasons.

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