Normand: Gasser arrested for mansaughter for killing McKnight

December 06, 2016 - 4:33 am
Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand today announced the arrest of Ronald Gasser for the shooting death of former NFL player Joe McKnight.

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He says Gasser is charged with manslaughter.

"We've done the right thing for the right reasons," Normand insisted in a news conference. "We conducted over 160 interviews in this case."

He says they also conducted multiple crime scene reenactments.

"On Saturday we finally located a witness that was key to this case," the sheriff explained.

Normand says the shooter was very cooperative through the process, ten hours of interviews and a consent to search his home.

"Mr. Gasser never did ask for an attorney," he said.

Normand says that was one reason they did not arrest him imitatively, because as long as he was willing to talk they wanted to let him keep talking.

The sheriff said the road rage incident included both men chasing each other until it came to an end at the intersection where Gasser shot McKnight.

Normand explained that when McKnight got out of his car, Gasser could not drive away.

"Mr. Gasser did not have an avenue for retreat," he said. "Mr. MckNight exits his car and goes to Mr. Gasser's car."

It was at that time investigators say Gasser shot McKnight three times, killing him.

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He did not share details about why they decided to charge Gasser in the case.  He did, however, say that the law is very specific in cases like this.

"We have a very forward leaning stand your ground, self defense, justifiable homicide law... that is very much in an affirmative fashion."

Normand also said that both Gasser and McKnight bare some blame for the tragic end in this case.

"Two people engaged in bad behavior that day.  Why?  I don't know."

The sheriff declined to explain why they charged Gasser, saying the probe was continuing and that he did not want to try the case in the media.

He explained, "We felt that manslaughter was the charge that most appropriately fit the evidence that we have at this time... Independent witnesses have provided information that don't completely square up with Mr. Gasser's statement."

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