Ronald Gasser sentenced to 30 years in Joe McKnight’s death

Ronald Gasser, the West Jefferson man who killed former John Curtis Christian School and pro-football player Joe McKnight at a Terrytown intersection, was sentenced Thursday (March 15) to 30 years in prison.

A Jefferson Parish jury on Jan. 26 found Gasser, 56, guilty of manslaughter for killing McKnight, 28. Jurors rejected Gasser’s justifiable homicide defense and found he had specific intent to kill or inflict great bodily harm when he fired three .40-caliber bullets at the former pro running back during a fit of road rage on Dec. 1, 2016.

Following the conviction, Judge Ellen Shirer Kovach of the 24th Judicial District Court ordered a pre-sentence investigation to guide her in her decision. On Thursday, after rejecting a defense motion for a new trial and hearing and reading the impact testimony, Judge Kovach said the tragedy could have been easily avoided had both men disengaged.

Assistant District Attorneys Shannon Swaim and Seth Shute prosecuted the case.