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Defender Picks



August 23rd

Wine Down Wednesdays

New Orleans Jazz Museum, 6:30PM

Free yogalates at the Mint


The Heart of Herbalism

Rosalie Apothecary, 7PM

Syrups and immune health


Trapper Keeper

Side Bar, 8:30PM

Local improv music duo, feat. Dr. Jeff Albert



Bar Redux, 9PM

Free screening of junkie masterpiece


Chris & Tami

The New Movement, 9:30PM

TNM's founders perform weekly free show


Vixens & Vinyl

One Eyed Jacks, 10:30PM

Burlesque dance party


August 24th

Summertime Blues

Shops at Canal Place, 5:30PM

Young professionals meet-up with blues, brews, and BBQ


Architecture & Design Film Festival Kick-Off

Contemporary Arts Center, 5:30PM

Opening night party and film


Yoga Social Club

Crescent Park, 5:45PM

Get sweaty and centered


Ogden After Hours

Ogden Museum, 6PM

Feat. Sweet Olive String Band


Ambush Reggae Band

Gasa Gasa, 9PM

Local roots reggae group


Royal Teeth

Tipitina's, 9PM

Feat. Merci Raines and No True Scotsman


August 25th

Friday Nights at NOMA


Feat. The Pfister Sisters


Exotic Races

Fair Grounds, 5PM

Races feat. ostriches and camels


More Lovely and More Temperate

Valiant Theatre and Lounge, 6PM

Performance of all 154 Shakespearean sonnets


Lil' WeezyAna Fest

Champions Square, 7PM

Feat. Gucci Man, Rich the Kid, Kodie Shane, YoungBoy NBA, and Lil Wayne


Drive-In On the Patio

Bar Redux, 9PM

Campy and cool movies, The Wasp Woman, Attack of the Giant Leeches, and The Giant Gila Monster


Little Maker & Mr. Universe

One Eyed Jacks, 9PM

Feat. special tribute to The Band


Rocky Horror Picture Show

Prytania Theatre, 12AM

Feat. NOLA's foremost shadow cast The Well-Hung Speakers


August 26th

It's About TIME

Studio Be, 6PM

Artist conversation about oppression via symbols like the monuments


New Pride Pageant

Cafe Istanbul, 6PM

Honoring Mr & Miss New Orleans Pride 2017


New Orleans Saints vs. Houston Texans

SuperDome, 7PM

The Saints and Texans go head to head


Rick & Morty Marathon

Bar Redux, 9PM

Outdoor binge session for Dan Harmon's animated series


Swamp Motel

Gasa Gasa, 9PM

Album release party for Louisiana rockers


Vox & The Hound

One Eyed Jacks, 10PM

Pop group, feat. psych band Midriff and Naughty Palace

Will Smith's Killer Sentenced to 25 Years in Prison

Former Crescent City Kings player Cardell Hayes was convicted Thursday in the slaying of beloved Saints captain Will Smith. Hayes silently accepted the sentence of 25 years in prison on charges of manslaughter and attempted manslaughter in the incident that left Smith dead and Smith’s wife Racquel suffering from multiple gun shot wounds. The sentencing comes just days after the one year anniversary of Smith’s death. 


Hayes broke down in the courtroom during his testimony on the stand earlier Thursday afternoon, telling the court that he wished that he would have died that night instead of the former Saints player. “I should have just let him kill me,” Hayes said during his testimony, according to court transcripts. The defendant also apologized to Smith’s family, stating “I can say it a million times. I wish that night never happened.” Hayes expressed regret that he is the sole person responsible for taking Smith away from his family, but also tried to appeal to their similar situations as the verdict also robs his own son of a father. “Being away from my son[...] — what’s the difference from being dead?” 


Will Smith was shot and killed following a minor traffic accident in the Lower Garden District a little after 11PM on April 9th, 2016. The NOPD and EMTs reported arriving at the scene at 11:29PM to find Smith slumped out of his SUV into the street and bleeding out, suffering from eight gun shot wounds. The star defensive end was declared dead on the scene. Racquel Smith was taken to the hospital for two gun shot wounds to her leg. 


Criminal District Judge Camille Buras sentenced Hayes to 25 years for the manslaughter of Will Smith, and 15 years in the attempted manslaughter of Racquel Smith — to be served concurrently. 


During day two of testimony, Hayes reaffirmed his stance that the incident was one of self-defense. “I feared for my life,” he told the court, insisting that Smith had first shot a gun at him. “I didn’t just purposely do this.” 


29-year-old Cardell Hayes was a star football player at Warren Easton in his youth. In 2004, he was recruited by LSU and Florida. Hayes is listed on the roster of the Crescent City Kings (semi pro) in 2015. At the time of the killing, Hayes’s Facebook page stated that he enrolled at UNO in 2015 and contains multiple references to his love of pitbulls. 


Smith was drafted by the Saints in 2004 and played with them until tearing his ACL in 2013. He is revered by Saints fans for leading the team to glory and their only Super Bowl victory in the post-Katrina years. He died at 34 and left behind wife Racquel, and three children. 

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