GRETNA, LA—On Thursday, February 2 Terrytown native and IT technician Ronald Gasser, 55, a grand jury indicted Gasser on a second degree murder charge for the fatal shooting of former USC Trojans and NFL running back Joe McKnight, 28. by the Jefferson Parish District Attorney’s Office. Gasser pleaded not guilty to the charges.
The homicide, reportedly in connection with a road rage incident, occurred around 2:40 p.m. on December 1, 2016 on Behrman Highway and Holmes Boulevard (on the Crescent City Connection Bridge) in Terrytown, Louisiana. Officials disclosed that McKnight, who drove an Audi SUV, was thought to have cut off Gasser’s Infiniti. While stopped at an intersection, Gasser pulled out a .40 caliber handgun and shot McKnight three times, killing him.
Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand said during a press conference:
“What we had were two adult males engaged in unacceptable behavior, (who) did not understand how to deal with conflict resolution, and this thing went to a point that unfortunately led to incredibly tragic consequences over bad driving behavior and bad spoken words.”
Four days later, on December 5, Gasser was arrested and charged with manslaughter. Gasser could face a sentence of life imprisonment at hard labor without benefit of parole, probation, or suspension of sentence.
Gerard Archer and Matthew Goetz, Gasser’s attorneys, referred to the killing as a “justifiable homicide,” insisting that McKnight’s actions were intentional and Gasser shot the ex-NFL player as an act of self defense.
District Attorney Paul Connick Jr. announced that Gasser’s bond has been raised from $500,000 to $750,000 by Judge June Darensburg of the 24th Judicial District Court.
If he is convicted of second degree murder, he will face a life sentence with no parole or probation.
Gasser is scheduled for another hearing in court on Thursday, February 16. The Jefferson Parish District Attorney’s Office has noted no further comment will be made by the office regarding the case.