An Orleans Parish criminal court judge rules that the jury in the Cardell Hayes murder trial will be sequestered. Hayes is accused of killing former-Saints player Will Smith after a car accident on April 9th. Legal analyst Chick Foret says there will be a lot of media coverage of the trial, and the judge wants to prevent any potential bias.
“She wants to make sure that the jury makes its decision based upon the evidence that is presented in court and not what some legal analyst or some journalist thinks about the presentation of the evidence,” Foret said.
Judge Camille Buras has ruled the jury will not have any contact with the outside world for the duration of the trial, which is set to begin December 5th. Foret says this will likely change the makeup of the jury, because the jurors will have to be people who don’t have anywhere to be.
“We’re going to have to wait and see what excuses are accepted by the judge in determining who’s going to be seated on the jury,” Foret said.
Foret says it’s not often we see juries sequestered, but he expects this to be one of the most publicized cases in the history of Orleans parish. He says he’s not surprised by the judge’s decision.
“It’s seldom used. I think the judge made the conservative ruling in this. There are many judges in that same building at Tulane and Broad that would have made the same ruling,” Foret said.