A man convicted in the road-rage shooting death of former USC football player Joe McKnight was sentenced Thursday to 30 years in prison.
Ronald Gasser was convicted of manslaughter by a New Orleans jury for the December 2016 killing of McKnight, 28, who played for two NFL teams, including three years with the New York Jets. Gasser had been charged with a count of second-degree murder, but he was convicted of the lesser charge last year.
Police said the fatal encounter followed a 5-mile rolling confrontation that began with dangerously aggressive driving on a New Orleans bridge and ended with McKnight being shot as he stood outside Gasser’s car at a suburban intersection. Gasser never left the shooting scene and was initially freed after more than eight hours of questioning.
McKnight was considered the No. 1 running back recruit in the country when he came out of John Curtis Christian School in Louisiana in 2006. He signed with the University of Southern California, where he ran for 2,213 yards and 13 touchdowns and caught 66 passes for 542 yards and two scores in three seasons.
In the NFL, he also played one season with the Kansas City Chiefs. He spent a season in the Canadian Football League, playing two games for the Edmonton Eskimos and three for the Saskatchewan Roughriders.