MINNEAPOLIS — A Hennepin County grand jury has indicted Jamal Smith on charges of first-degree murder in the highway shooting death of a youth baseball coach in July.
The indictment was returned in Hennepin County District Court on Thursday. Along with the more serious charge, bail for the 33-year-old Smith was raised to $3.5 million. He is scheduled to make his first appearance on the first-degree murder charge Friday at 1:30 p.m. in front of Judge Peter Cahill.
Smith was originally charged with second-degree murder in the fatal shooting of Jay Boughton of Crystal the night of July 6. Boughton and his 15-year-old son were returning home from a youth baseball game in Coon Rapids when investigators say Smith opened fire after a brief traffic altercation on Highway 169 near Rockford Road.
Boughton was struck in the head, and later died at an area hospital.
Smith was arrested in Decatur, Illinois in late August when Plymouth police used a Facebook video he posted to trace him. In late September Hennepin County prosecutors requested an upward departure in sentencing for Smith, maintaining that:
- The defendant committed the crime in the presence of a child (Boughton's son)
- The defendant's conduct created a greater than normal danger to the safety of other people on the roadway
- The fatal shooting of Boughton would be Smith's third violent crime conviction, and he should be considered a dangerous offender
Notices filed also listed offenses and alleged prior acts by Smith that the state intends to prove. Among them, that Smith reportedly pointed a gun at five other vehicles in the hours before the shooting of Boughton while driving to the Twin Cities from Chicago; that he committed an assault in the hours following the shooting; and that Smith was in possession of at least two firearms, one that matched the type and caliber of the weapon that killed Boughton.