Ronald Gasser sentenced today in road rage shooting of Joe McKnight.
Ronald Gasser, the man convicted of manslaughter in the 2016 road rage shooting death of former NFL running back Joe McKnight was sentenced to 30 years in prison today, according to reports. Gasser, 56, had reportedly faced up to 40 years behind bars.
In December of 2016, Gasser admitted to shooting McKnight three times following a traffic incident, including one shot he fired from his driver's seat while arguing with McKnight who was near the passenger window of the car. According to ESPN, Gasser's defense argued that he fired in self-defense when McKnight walked up to his car following a 5-mile confrontation.
"Witnesses at the trial said McKnight had been weaving in and out of traffic at high speed before the shooting. Prosecutors acknowledged to the jury that he was, in the words of Assistant District Attorney Seth Shute, "driving like a jerk." But they argued that Gasser escalated the conflict, following him down an exit that he would not ordinarily have taken moments before the shooting."
"Let this be a cautionary tale," Judge Ellen Kovach said. McKnight's death could have been avoided "if either of the men had had the good sense, the courage and the wisdom to simply disengage."
McKnight was a star at USC before and was later drafted by the New York Jets in the fourth round of the NFL Draft. He spent three seasons with the Jets before ultimately signing with the Kansas City Chiefs in 2014 after sitting out the 2013 season. He is survived by his nine-year old son Jayden.