Louisiana judge sentences killer of former USC star Joe McKnight to 30 years in prison

It won’t bring former USC and NFL star Joe McKnight back to us, but it may bring some comfort to his grieving family and friends.

Ronald Gasser, the man who was convicted of manslaughter in the 2016 road rage shooting death, was sentenced to 30 years in prison by a Louisiana judge on Thursday,  according to the Associated Press.

Gasser, who is 56, is slated to serve the majority of the rest of his life behind bars for the shooting that his defense claimed was in self-defense after a confrontation on a Louisiana roadway near New Orleans. It was said to be a five-mile chase across a bridge that ended in gunfire from Gasser.

McKnight’s mother was able to face her son’s killer on Thursday during the sentencing, according to the Associated Press report.

The mother of slain former NFL player Joe McKnight has tearfully confronted her son’s killer.

Jennifer McKnight testified about her loss Thursday during the sentencing hearing for 56-year-old Ronald Gasser.

She left the courtroom sobbing after angrily telling Gasser “You didn’t have to do that.”

McKnight, who played in the NFL for the New York Jets and Kansas City Chiefs, was just 28 years old at the time of his death.

Though McKnight never played in the SEC, he was near and dear to the hearts of many in SEC country. He was a prep football star at John Curtis Christian School in Louisiana and considered one of the top high school running backs in the nation, but choose to leave the state to play for Pete Carroll at USC. The former 5-star prospect’s decision to pass on LSU for USC prompted an investigation into a potential recruiting violation after McKnight revealed that he had talked to Trojans star Reggie Bush.

McKnight played three seasons at USC (2007-09) before entering the 2010 NFL Draft. He was selected in the fourth round by the New York Jets.

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