Louisiana's Supreme Court has ruled that the man who killed a former NFL player in a New Orleans-area road rage incident cannot be tried again for murder after his conviction on a lesser charge was overturned.
Authorities in the New Orleans suburb of Jefferson Parish originally charged Ronald Gasser with second-degree murder in the 2016 shooting of Joe McKnight. A jury convicted Gasser of manslaughter instead. But that verdict was later overturned because it came from a non-unanimous jury.
Prosecutors went to the Supreme Court after lower courts said they could retry McKnight for manslaughter but not on the murder charge. Gasser claimed he shot McKnight in self-defense.
Writing for the court, Justice Jay McCallum said state and federal double jeopardy protection “bars the reinstatement and retrial of a defendant on a higher charge when he has been lawfully convicted of a lesser included offense, even though the conviction is later vacated.”