Man Convicted in Highway 169 Shooting Receives Life Sentence
Life behind bars.
That’s the sentence handed down by Hennepin County District Court Judge Nicole Engisch Tuesday against Jamal Smith, the Chicago man convicted of shooting and killing youth baseball coach Jay Boughton last year on Highway 169 in Plymouth.
Tuesday morning’s sentencing culminates a long, difficult past year for the Boughton family. At the hearing, Jay Boughton’s wife, his two children and his mother all provided victim impact statements.
“I think today brings some sense of closure to the legal system and the legal system was fair to us,” said Kristin Boughton, Jay’s wife.
The family along with a host of supporters wore yellow to showcase the family’s mantra of courage, strength and staying in the light in the aftermath of the shooting.
“Through the yellow represented here, that is strength, courage, and light,” said Boughton, speaking to a group of reporters after the sentencing.
Kristin Boughton was joined by her two children, Harrison and Amalie. Both took a moment to share anecdotes about their father to reporters.
“He was kind, funny,” said Amalie Boughton. “Just a light that everyone loved to be around, and everyone loved to be around him.”
“I’d like to be like him,” said Harrison Boughton, who was in the front passenger seat when his father was shot and killed. “He was kind. nice. Very respectful. He was a great person and we miss him.”
While the sentencing closes one chapter, family members know that the healing process will be ongoing.
“At the end of the day it doesn’t bring my husband back,” Kristin Boughton said. “He’s missed and we love him so much. And I know Jay is looking down from heaven and saying, I’m so proud of you sweet. I’m so proud of you Harrison. I’m so proud of you Amalie.”
Meanwhile, Jamal Smith also addressed the court. He maintained his innocence and called the trial a “witch hunt.”
Smith’s attorney, Emmett Donnelly, said there was a host of legal and factual problems with the case. He also called into question the legitimacy of the jury, saying that the jurors did not reflect the diversity of Hennepin County. He told the court that this was an “innocence project case waiting to happen.”