Joe McKnight’s Killer, Ronald Gasser, Arrested On Manslaughter Charge
Donald Gasser, the man who admitted to shooting and killing former NFL player Joe McKnight last week during a road rage incident, was jailed Monday on a charge of manslaughter, according to the jail records from Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office. Originally, Gasser was taken into custody and questioned, but then released after the shooting.
Last Thursday, Gasser was inside his vehicle where he shot three rounds through his passenger window from a .40 caliber semiautomatic handgun and killed McKnight during a road rage incident at an intersection in Tarrytown, Louisiana.
Last week during a press conference, Sheriff Newell Normand said that there would be a probe of the shooting, which would include consideration of Louisiana’s stand-your-ground law. The law which says a person does not have “a duty to retreat” when the prospect of life-threatening or great bodily harm appears imminent.
“In this state, there are relative statutes that provide defenses to certain crimes,” Normand said last week. “For example, officers have those same defenses. So when we shoot and kill somebody, the question is … it’s a homicide. The question is, ‘Is it justified or not?'”
Normand said he is trying to be as transparent as possible but also needs to balance that against the “sanctity of (the) investigation.”
“Everybody wants to make this about race. This isn’t about race,” he said.
Here is the definition of voluntary manslaughter, also known as a “heat of passion” crime:
Voluntary manslaughter occurs when a person is strongly provoked (under circumstances that could similarly provoke a reasonable person) and
kills in the heat of passion aroused by that provocation.
For “heat of passion” to exist, the person must not have had sufficient time to “cool off” from the provocation. That the killing isn’t considered first or second-degree murder is a concession to human weakness. Killers who act in the heat of passion may kill intentionally, but the emotional context is a mitigating factor that reduces their moral blameworthiness.