Jurors found Ronald Gasser guilty in the death of Joe McKnight, a former running back for the New York Jets. During a road-rage confrontation, Gasser shot and killed McKnight. According to reports, the two men followed each other for approximately 5-miles in the suburbs of New Orleans. In this case, the prosecutor didn’t dispute that Joe McKnight was driving dangerously. But is that a good reason to kill someone?
Initially, Gasser faced second-degree murder charges, which carries a life sentence. Subsequently, the jurors found him guilty of a lesser charge. With the conviction of manslaughter, he faces a sentence ranging from zero to 40 years in prison.
Feeling Road Rage? Breathe and keep it moving.
Is Road Rage a criminal act? Absolutely! Road rage is more serious than aggressive driving. It usually involves a driver that is very angry. They overreact and often go after the person involved in the dispute. Reactions can lead to threats or a fight. In this case death.
The Case Against Gasser
On December 1, 2016, Gasser and the former NFL player were driving in separate cars. Joe McKnight was driving his stepfather’s Audi Q7 when he cut off Gasser. Gasser chased him. The two men stopped at an intersection in Terrytown. Witnesses say the men were “in a heated verbal exchange” from their vehicles. McKnight was on the passenger’s window side of Gasser’s car when the incident happened. Gasser shot the athlete in the right shoulder, the right chest and the hand. When police arrived on the scene Gasser handed them a .40-caliber pistol. He admitted to shooting McKnight.
Gasser claimed self-defense. “Lousiana law allows the use of lethal force by someone who believes someone entering his or her home or car is a threat, reported by ESPN.” However, after an eight-hour deliberation jurors convicted him of manslaughter.
McKnight, 28 spent his professional years with the New York Jets and Kansas City. GCE writers offer our most sincere condolences to the McKnight Family.