Racquel Smith, wife of former New Orleans Saints defensive lineman Will Smith, returns from lunch Sunday, Dec. 11, 2016, during recess for closing arguments in the murder trial of Cardell Hayes. Hayes claims he acted in self defense when he shot and killed Will Smith and injured Racquel Smith during a road-rage incident.

Advocate photo by SCOTT THRELKELD

A doctor and an occupational therapist at University Medical Center will testify at a hearing Tuesday that was requested by the defense team for Cardell Hayes, an apparent bid for more information on the medical treatment given to the wife of the slain former Saints player Will Smith.

As Hayes prepares for his March 27 sentencing, his lawyers obtained subpoenas for Dr. Stephen Thon, an orthopedic surgeon, and Andrea Lott, an occupational therapist, to testify in the courtroom of Criminal District Judge Camille Buras.

The reason for the hearing is not disclosed in a subpoena request filed by Paul Barker, an attorney for Hayes. The local tow truck driver was convicted of manslaughter in December in connection with the killing of the former Saints defensive lineman.

But the medical professionals slated to testify work at the hospital where Racquel Smith was treated immediately after the April 9, 2016, shooting.

Hayes was also convicted of attempted manslaughter for what prosecutors described as a single gunshot that tore through both of Racquel Smith's legs.

Racquel Smith recounted the shooting in raw, emotional testimony during the trial, at one point addressing Hayes directly.

"My worst nightmare happened for no reason," she testified. "He didn't have that to do to my baby … and you know it. Or to me. I didn't do you anything for you to shoot me."

In his own testimony at the trial, Hayes denied shooting her. His lead defense attorney, John Fuller, suggested her wounds came from another weapon.

Racquel Smith is expected to speak in court again later this month to give victim impact testimony at Hayes' sentencing on the fallout from her husband’s death, which left his three children without a father.

Hayes faces 20 years to 40 years in prison on the manslaughter count. That's in part because Orleans Parish District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro office filed a sentencing enhancement for the use of a firearm.

Hayes also faces a maximum 20-year sentence on the attempted manslaughter count. Cannizzaro has said he thinks Hayes deserves 60 years, the highest possible sentence.

Meanwhile, an attorney for Hayes’ friend, Kevin O’Neal, has submitted a motion to the court for the release of his gun, which was seized immediately after the shooting.

O’Neal was riding in the passenger seat of Hayes’ Hummer when they slammed into the back of Smith’s Mercedes SUV near the intersection of Felicity Street and Sophie Wright Place. O’Neal has said that he left his gun inside the SUV when he and Hayes got out of the vehicle.

Hayes took out of the Hummer his .45-caliber handgun, which he admitted using to kill Smith. Hayes claimed he shot in self-defense, and on the witness stand he denied shooting Racquel Smith.

O’Neal is asking the court to release the Taurus Poly Protector revolver, a notebook tablet, and two cell phones, according to a motion submitted by his lawyer Tanzanika Ruffin on Jan. 25. The motion is still pending.

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