Jamal Smith’s Attorneys to File Motion to Dismiss Murder Indictment in Hwy 169 Shooting
The attorneys representing Highway 169 fatal shooting suspect Jamal Smith plan to file a motion to dismiss the first-degree murder indictment against him. Smith is accused of fatally shooting Jay Boughton, 56, of Crystal, on southbound 169 near Rockford Road on July 6.
Smith is represented by public defenders Emmett Donnelly and Kellen Dotson. The attorneys also plan to file a motion to reinstate phone privileges. Presenting before Judge Nicole Engisch in a virtual court hearing, Donnelly said removing his client’s phone privileges has resulted in “particularly harsh conditions of confinement.”
“It’s actually a human rights issue your honor,” argued Donnelly. “He’s not getting any mail. He’ll get an empty envelope. He’s not allowed to have any contact with his family or anybody else in the outside world.”
Police arrested Smith on Aug. 24 in Decatur, Ill., about 180 miles southwest of Chicago. He was extradited to the Hennepin County jail, where he remains held on $3.5 million bail.
Donnelly said Smith is being held in a segregation unit with his client “subjected to people throwing urine on him.” He also said Smith has not been able to get religious counsel in jail that he believed was due to COVID.
According to Hennepin County prosecutor Dan Allard, Smith hasn’t been following the judge’s order that revoked jail phone privileges.
“The defendant has been making hundreds of phone calls even despite his phone rights being removed,” said Allard during a virtual hearing Monday afternoon.
The prosecution says Smith has been tampering with witnesses. During a previous court hearing, Assistant Hennepin County Attorney Erin Lutz said Smith talked to people while in the Macon County, Ill., jail in an attempt to delete his Facebook page. The prosecution considers the suspect’s Facebook page a critical piece of evidence. A criminal complaint against Smith said police used Facebook video to link him to the case. Lutz also said Smith instructed one of the witnesses to recant what she told law enforcement while in the Hennepin County jail.
Judge Engisch scheduled two hearings on the expected defense motion filings. A hearing on Feb. 7 will review the phone privileges matter. Another hearing, set for March 4, will hear defense arguments to dismiss the murder indictment.
Smith, 33, of Chicago, is charged with first-degree murder, second-degree murder through drive-by shooting and felony possession of a firearm while prohibited.