MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Jamal Smith, the man accused in the shooting death of youth baseball coach Jay Boughton, was indicted by a Hennepin County Grand Jury on Thursday for first-degree murder.
Smith had already been charged with second-degree murder and aiding an offender as an accomplice after the fact. In addition to the more serious charge, his bail was raised to $3.5 million.
He will be back in court for his first appearance on the new charges Friday afternoon.
Prosecutors said they sought an upward sentencing for Smith based on three factors: the crime was committed in the presence of a child (Boughton’s son was in the car with him when he was shot), Smith’s alleged conduct “created a greater than normal danger to the safety of other people on the roadway” and the fact that, if convicted, this would be Smith’s third violent crime.
Smith, 33, allegedly shot Boughton on Highway 169 this summer, as the coach was returning with his son from a baseball game. Boughton then lost control of his car and crashed into several other vehicles in a nearby parking lot.
Plymouth Police Chief Erik Fadden called the case a “needle in a haystack,” and police spent more than 1,500 on the case, tracking over 400 tips from the public. Smith’s criminal complaint says that he had posted a Facebook Live wearing the same clothes and carrying a similar handbag to one shown on surveillance video. An earlier Facebook Live broadcast also showed Smith brandishing a semi-automatic handgun, from which authorities were able to determine a serial number.
The complaint said the car involved in the shooting – the key to identifying a suspect – was reported stolen from a rental car company.
Smith was arrested in Decatur, Illinois nearly two months after Boughton’s death.
Boughton was laid to rest in early August.