In July this year, Jamal L. Smith was arrested on charges that he had killed Jay Boughton, 56, on Highway 169 in Plymouth, Mn, in a fit of road rage. Prosecutors Daniel Allard and Erin Lutz said Smith had a long history of violent behaviors, and before he killed Boughton, Smith had “pointed guns at other motorists for minor reasons while driving.”
According to Boughton’s son, the events that led to his father’s death involved Smith pulling his SUV close to Boughton’s car. And Boughton made a gesture [it was not said if Boughton’s display was that of profanity], and that was when Smith pulled the trigger and shot Boughton in the driver’s window, killing him immediately.
Smith’s defense lawyer Emmett Donnelly asked Judge Nicole Engisch to lower his client’s bond from $3.5 million, given that for a crime such as the one Smith is being accused of is around $650,000.
According to Star and Tribune, Donnelly told the court. “There is an effort her to brand Mr. Smith as a monster for the purpose to make him less than human,” said Donnelly, who represents Smith. “We shouldn’t have to be here to defend a man’s character. He is a man of faith, and he has children.”
But Engisch rejected Donnelly’s request. Prosecutors also told the court that since Smith was behind bars, he reportedly requested someone kill the person he thought was harassing his girlfriend. Smith reportedly offered to pay $25,000.
The Judge also heard that Smith attempted to influence a pivotal witness to change their story they gave to police at the time of the killing. It was argued Smith provided step-by-step direction on how the witness should testify.
“He has been on the phone [from jails in central Illinois and Minneapolis] tampering with witnesses, threatening individuals,” Allard said. She also asked the Judge to revoke Smith’s calling rights. The Judge did not make a decision on that.
There was a video of Smith on Facebook of him holding a gun with another man in the car. Smith was seen recording himself talking on the video holding the gun. Prosecutors said Smith contacted someone about deleting the Facebook post.
Smith is behind bars on first-degree and second-degree murder, and is a felon in possession of a firearm. “The weapons charge stems from Smith’s convictions for unlawful use of a gun and being a felon in possession of a firearm,” said Paul Walsh of the Star Tribune, who wrote the article.