Guilty Verdict Reached in Jamal Smith Murder Trial
The jury found Jamal Smith guilty on all three counts he was charged with, including first-degree murder, which carries a mandatory sentence of life in prison. The verdict was announced shortly after 2:15 p.m. Thursday. Jamal Smith, 34, of Chicago, was convicted of shooting and killing Jay Boughton on Highway 169 in Plymouth last summer. Boughton was a local youth baseball coach.
Deliberations had lasted roughly 16 hours with jurors previously hung up on the first-degree murder charge before Thursday afternoon’s verdict. Jurors also found Smith guilty of second-degree murder and felony possession of a firearm.
In the courtroom, Boughton’s family members became emotional as the verdict was read and gave each other hugs. According to court pool notes, Kristin Boughton, Jay’s wife, called her daughter and said “This is a win for your dad.”
Then she called Harrison, the couple’s son who was in the front passenger seat of the vehicle at the time Jay Boughton was killed. She said, “Hey Harrison, hey honey, we got him. He’s guilty on all three counts. We got him.”
The sentence on the first count is life in prison with the possibility of parole. In Minnesota, the possibility of parole doesn’t become available until he serves an actual 30 years.
At one point during jury deliberations, jurors notified the judge they’d reached a consensus on two counts, but weren’t sure if they would reach a consensus on the first count. The first count is first-degree murder with intent to kill. The second count is second-degree murder without intent and the third count is illegally possessing a firearm.
The question asked if counts two and three can still stand in the case if they don’t reach a consensus on the first count. Judge Nicole Engisch suggested the jury keep deliberating until they reach a consensus.
Testimony in the trial lasted seven days.