NEW ORLEANS — The man charged in the shooting death of former NFL running back Joe McKnight is scheduled to go on trial in August.

A judge in the New Orleans suburb of Gretna on Monday set an Aug. 7 trial date for Ronald Gasser, who has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder. A conviction on that charge carries a mandatory life sentence.

Authorities have said McKnight and Gasser drove erratically and yelled at each other before the Dec. 1 shooting. The confrontation took place as they were traveling over a Mississippi River bridge in New Orleans and on roads in neighboring Jefferson Parish.

Defense attorney Gerard Archer has called the shooting a “justifiable homicide.”

McKnight played three seasons for the New York Jets and one with the Kansas City Chiefs.