NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The Latest on the sentencing hearing for Cardell Hayes, convicted in the 2016 shooting death of former New Orleans Saints star Will Smith (all times local):

12:30 p.m.

Wailing and shaking, the mother of the man who killed former New Orleans Saints star Will Smith pleaded for mercy from the judge who is preparing to sentence him.

Dawn Mumphrey also begged for the Smiths to forgive her son, 29-year-old Cardell Hayes, as she testified at a pre-sentence hearing Thursday.

Hayes, facing up to 60 years in prison, sat hunched over at the defense table as his mother sobbed uncontrollably.

Hayes shot Smith to death in April 2016 during a traffic dispute.

He insisted it was self-defense, but was convicted of manslaughter in Smith’s death and attempted manslaughter for wounding Smith’s wife.

State District Judge Camille Buras is expected to announce her sentence Friday.

___

11:40 a.m.

The man who killed retired New Orleans Saints star Will Smith has been breaking down in tears over being separated from his little boy.

Cardell Hayes was the first witness called Thursday as the defense began to make its case for leniency. Regaining his composure, he looked at Smith’s widow Racquel and told her he wishes the night had never happened.

Hayes faces up to 60 years in prison for manslaughter and attempted manslaughter after killing Will Smith and wounding Racquel in a confrontation that began when the Smith’s car apparently bumped his Humvee in traffic.

Hayes is again insisting that he acted in self-defense as Smith fired a gun at him, despite evidence to the contrary at trial.

Later, he looked at Racquel Smith again and said “I apologize for your loss.”

A judge is expected to announce the sentence Friday.

___

8 a.m.

The defense gets a chance to make its case for leniency Thursday in the shooting death of former New Orleans Saints star Will Smith.

Smith’s widow and other loved ones took the stand at a pre-sentence hearing Wednesday. They tearfully aimed bitter remarks at Smith’s killer, Cardell Hayes.

The 29-year-old owner of a tow-truck business could be sentenced to 60 years for fatally shooting Smith and wounding Smith’s wife in a confrontation after a traffic crash last year.

Hayes insisted at trial that it was self-defense. But he was convicted of manslaughter and attempted manslaughter.

His family and friends were in the courtroom Wednesday and some may be called to the stand Thursday to support Hayes.

Judge Camille Buras is expected to sentence Hayes no later than Friday.

This post was originally written here.  We do not claim ownership or liability of the content of this post, or the views expressed therein.