Ronald Gasser, 56, was sentenced to 30 years in prison for the killing of former NFL player Joe McKnight in 2016 reports ESPN.
YES‼️ There is justice in Louisiana for Trojan & NFL player Joe McNight‼️✌???? https://t.co/PicQ4wAwaK
— Dolly Madison (@dollymad1812) March 15, 2018
Originally, Gasser was charged with manslaughter and had his bond set at $500,000; that brought about much controversy last January. Despite this, prosecutors brought second-degree murder charges against Gasser.
Judge Ellen Kovach handed down the sentence. She said, “Let this be a cautionary tale to all drivers who rages behind the wheel of their car at other drivers,” she said, adding McKnight would still be alive if both men “had the good sense, the courage and the wisdom to simply disengage.”
During the sentencing, McKnight's mother gave an emotional account, Deadspin reports. “You took my child from me. My child. Everybody says Joe McKnight, the football player. But he’s Joe McKnight, my son … that day, you didn’t have to do that. That didn’t have to happen. It hurts. It’s going to hurt a long time.”
The incident occurred over two years ago when McKnight was shot and killed in a road rage encounter with Gasser. The two men first began arguing at an intersection, and while McKnight was apologizing for the incident, Gasser shot him multiple times. While standing over McKnight body, Gasser said, "I told you don't you f*ck with me." McKnight was unarmed.
McKnight had a 9-year-old son. The boy's mother, Michelle Quick, says she is having a hard time trying to explain to the child what happened and wants to protect him from seeing videos of McKnight body on the ground after the shooting scene.
The Times-Picayune reports that during the sentencing, Quick told Gasser that she would not allow her son to grow up with hate in his heart.
"It's going to be my life's mission to make sure that Jaiden does not grow up with hate in his heart for you," Quick said. "Fostering hate towards you is not going to bring healing to his heart."