Ronald Gasser was sentenced to 30 years in prison Thursday for manslaughter in the tragic 2016 shooting death of former NFL running back and USC star Joe McKnight. It’s one of the most heart wrenching sports stories of the past two seasons and an example of the destruction that impulsive actions can bring.
Gasser, 56, was sentenced less than two months after he was found guilty in a Louisiana courtroom. The maximum sentence he faced was 40 years so he got off pretty easy for a murder committed against an innocent man during a road rage confrontation.
Former NFL, USC and John Curtis High School star Joe McKnight was killed in the New Orleans suburban neighborhood of Terrytown, December 1, 2016. This is bystander video of EMS personnel administering CPR. (GRAPHIC CONTENT)
Gasser was originally charged with 2nd-degree murder, but the jury elected for the lesser charge of manslaughter after more than seven hours of deliberation back on Jan. 26.
McKnight was a talented running back who played for the Jets and Chiefs from 2010-2014. Gassar gunned McKnight down in cold blood, shooting him three times through his passenger side window.
Highlights from the 2009 season of USC running back #4 Joe McKnight.
McKnight’s mother, Jennifer, gave a victim impact statement before the sentencing. She chastised Gasser for his violence and the impact his murder will have on the 28-year-old McKnights family and his 8-year-old son Jaiden , who has to grow up without a Dad.
“That day, you didn’t have to do that, Jennifer said. That didn’t have to happen. It hurts. It’s going to hurt a long time.”
Man who shot and killed RB Joe McKnight gets a 30-year sentence https://t.co/SVfpwvdvWy
Michelle Quick, the mother of Joe’s 8-year-old son, also addressed Gasser before leaving the courtroom in tears.
“It will be my life’s mission to make sure my son, Jaiden, doesn’t grow up with hate for you. Not because you don’t deserve it, but because he should not have hate in his heart.”
Gasser’s lawyers filed a motion for a new trial, claiming Gasser was acting in self-defense, but the judge wasnt having it.
They’re planning to appeal.