A state judge on Thursday granted a protective order shielding from public view all evidence in the case against the man accused of killing former local prep football star and NFL player Joe McKnight in an apparent road-rage incident last year.
The order also prevents Ronald Gasser, who was indicted this month on a murder charge in McKnight's slaying, from possessing an unedited copy of the coroner’s report, though he can review the full report under the supervision of his attorneys.
Jefferson Parish District Attorney Paul Connick’s office sought the order as a safeguard for the privacy of McKnight and his family.
It was worked out in the chambers of 24th District Judge Ellen Shirer Kovach before a scheduled hearing Thursday morning. Kovach then granted the order in open court. Matthew Goetz, one of the attorneys representing Gasser, asked Kovach to note his objection.
In the courtroom, Gasser, his hair now closely cropped, sat quietly wearing black-rimmed eye glasses.
Gasser, 55, is accused of shooting McKnight to death in Terrytown on Dec. 1.
The man behind the controversial road-rage shooting that claimed the life of former NFL play…
Investigators say McKnight had driven erratically during a confrontation with Gasser that stretched from the Crescent City Connection to Behrman Highway and Holmes Boulevard, where the shooting took place. McKnight was out of his SUV and was standing at Gasser's passenger-side window when he was shot.
Gasser was released after the shooting but was booked on a manslaughter count a few days later and has been in jail since then. A grand jury indicted him Feb. 2 on the second-degree murder charge.
Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand said Tuesday that former NFL player Joe McKnight approached Ronald Gasser after an altercation in their vehicles when Gasser pulled out a gun and fired three shots, killing McKnight...
The protective order bars anyone other than Gasser’s attorneys, their staff, investigators and experts from possessing any evidence that prosecutors turn over. Gasser's defense attorneys may review and discuss the evidence with other attorneys and potential witnesses.
The order also prevents Gasser from possessing any autopsy reports or photos showing McKnight “in either an injured or deceased state,” though he is allowed to have a redacted copy of the coroner's report.
Dozens of protesters gathered at the site in Terrytown where Joe McKnight was shot to death …