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Jamal Smith indicted for 1st-degree murder in death of baseball coach

If convicted in the July fatal shooting of Jay Boughton on Highway 169, Smith could be sentenced to life in prison.

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.  

RELATED: Community remembers youth baseball coach killed in Hwy 169 shooting

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.  

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