Ronald Gasser, Joe McKnight
Photo: Jefferson Parish, La., Sheriff’s Office, NFL (Getty Images)

When former NFL running back Joe McKnight was killed following a road rage incident on the afternoon of Dec. 1, 2016, in Terrytown, La., he left behind a mother who loved him, a son who needed him and a family that continues to grieve for him. On Thursday, the family got at least some semblance of justice when the man who killed him was sentenced to 30 years in prison.

Ronald Gasser was found guilty of manslaughter by a jury on Jan. 26 and was facing up to 40 years in prison. NOLA.com reports that when Jefferson Parish, La., Judge Ellen Kovach sentenced him, she said, “Let this be a cautionary tale to all drivers who rage behind the wheel of their car at other drivers.” She added that the tragedy could have been avoided if either man “had the good sense, the courage and the wisdom to simply disengage.”

Gasser had been charged with second-degree murder, and although the jury voted for the lesser charge of manslaughter, they also rejected Gasser’s claim that he had shot McKnight in self-defense.

While Gasser’s sentence of 30 years in prison will not bring back McKnight, it still gives the thinnest sliver of hope that sometimes our justice system does get it right.