Accused Hwy 169 Shooter Appears in Court, Claims He’s Not Getting Fair Hearing
Jamal Smith, 33, of Chicago made his first court appearance Friday after a grand jury indicted him Thursday of first-degree murder. A conviction of the new charge would mean life in prison without parole.
Smith is accused of fatally shooting and killing Jay Boughton on Highway 169 near Rockford Road in Plymouth last July.
On Friday during a virtual hearing, Smith told Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill that “I haven’t received any constitutional rights,” while also claiming unfair bail. District Chief Judge Toddrick Barnette raised Smith’s bail by $2 million to $3.5 million. Smith also said he hadn’t spoke to his attorney but once since he was arrested in late August.
Smith made claims that his 11th and 5th Amendment rights were being violated. He said he hadn’t received a copy of the new charges and says he’s being held “for something I literally didn’t do.”
“I get it’s a high-profile case, but I’m not seeing that I’m getting a fair due process,” Smith told the court via Zoom.
Judge Cahill told Smith, “just listen to me very carefully, you’ve been indicted for first-degree murder,” and that his concerns “are part of the record now.”
Suspect to Return to Court Oct. 19
In addition to the first-degree murder charge, Smith is also charged with second-degree murder through drive-by shooting and felony possession of a firearm while prohibited.
Smith was arrested Aug. 24 in Decatur, Ill., about 180 miles southwest of Chicago. Police tracked down Smith after extensive detective work. The complaint said Smith appeared in a Facebook video that showed him holding the same weapon police say was used to kill Boughton.
Plymouth Public Safety Director Erik Fadden described the shooting incident as “some sort of traffic altercation,” but said the shooting could have stemmed from something “as simple as a lane change.”
In pre-court filings, prosecutors say they have witness accounts that Smith pointed a gun at other drivers before the fatal shooting of Boughton.
Boughton, 56, of Crystal was a husband, father and youth baseball coach. His 15-year-old son was in the vehicle with him when he was shot and killed.
Smith is scheduled to make his next court appearance on Tuesday, Oct. 19. Hennepin County District Judge Nicole Engisch will preside over the case.