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Prosecutors to seek longer sentence for accused Highway 169 shooter

In court filings, prosecutors shared three factors they say support an upward departure for Jamal Smith in the fatal shooting of a youth baseball coach.

MINNEAPOLIS — Prosecutors will seek a longer sentence for the man accused in the fatal highway shooting of a youth baseball coach in Plymouth.

Court documents filed in Hennepin County list three reasons the Hennepin County Attorney's Office believe 33-year-old Jamal L. Smith should serve more than the maximum sentence recommended by state statutes if he's convicted in the killing of Jay Boughton on 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: Jamal Smith, 33, charged with second-degree murder in the shooting death of beloved coach Jay Boughton

The notice filed by Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman says a potential sentence for Smith should be increased because prosecutors believe:

  • The defendant committed the crime in the presence of a child
  • 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

Freeman is asking that the upward sentence departure be determined by a jury. 

Hennepin County prosecutors also filed a notice of 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 Jay Boughton. 

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