State police nix request to take over Will Smith probe

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Sunday, April 17, 2016

NEW ORLEANS -- The head of the Louisiana State Police has rejected a request to take over the investigation into the death of former New Orleans Saints player Will Smith.

The request was from John Fuller, the attorney for 28-year-old Cardell Hayes, who's accused of gunning down Smith.

State police Col. Mike Edmonson wrote to Fuller on Saturday, saying he's confident New Orleans police can carry out an objective and professional investigation. Edmonson also says there's no legal basis for state police to "expropriate" any criminal investigation within the city.

He says he has offered state police resources, including forensics and DNA testing, to New Orleans police.

Smith was shot in what city police call a road-rage incident.

His visitation was Friday at the Saints' practice facility in suburban Metairie. A private funeral was held Saturday at a downtown theater.