The trial of Ron Gasser for the fatal shooting of ex-NFL player Joe McKnight is ongoing. The prosecution believes this is a case of murder. The defense argues that the shooting was in self-defense. Here’s the latest in the court proceedings.
On December 1, 2016, former NFL running back Joe McKnight approached the car of Ron Gasser, 54, at an intersection in Terrytown, Louisiana. The two men had been chasing each other on the road for a good period of time. Insults and middle fingers had been exchanged.
What happened next is at the heart of Gasser’s second-degree murder trial.
Gasser shot McKnight, 28, from the inside of his car. But was the shooting in self-defense or was it a case of road rage gone too far?
At the time of the shooting, the police thought enough of Gasser’s self-defense claim that he was questioned and released without being charged.
Did Ron Gasser Commit Murder?
According to prosecutors, after McKnight approached Ron Gasser’s vehicle, Gasser shot McKnight three times from the driver’s seat. Gasser remained at the scene until police arrived and handed over his gun without incident. McKnight had been unarmed.
The defense team has contended from the start that McKnight “lunged” at Gasser and tried to enter Gasser’s car through the open passenger-side window. In a moment of fear, the defense says, Gasser shot McKnight to protect himself.
Prosecutors dispute this claim. On January 24, 2018, they produced evidence in court that they say proves McKnight was too far away from the car for Gasser’s story to be true.
During the physical examination of McKnight’s body, it was discovered that there was little to no gunshot residue on him. If McKnight had been as close to Gasser’s vehicle as the defense has claimed, his body should have had gunshot residue on it.
Previous Road Rage
This is not the first time Ron Gasser has had issues with road rage.
Prosecutors brought in a man who had been involved in a similar road rage incident with Gasser at the exact same location in 2006. This man testified that after they had both pulled over, Gasser struck him twice.
Gasser disputes this story, claiming the other driver attacked him.
Gasser was issued a misdemeanor summons, but the district attorney eventually dismissed the case.
We will follow any major developments as Gasser’s trial continues.