Murder charge filed against Chicago man in fatal Hwy 169 shooting of youth baseball coach
Charges have now been filed against a Chicago man in the death of a youth baseball coach nearly two months ago on Highway 169 in Plymouth.
Jamal Lindsey Smith, 33, is charged with second-degree murder and aiding an offender in the death of 56-year-old Jay Boughton.
Police announced Smith’s arrest on Thursday, saying U.S. Marshals and officers from the Decatur Police Department in Illinois found and took him into custody.
Plymouth Police said a "traffic altercation" possibly involving a lane change "escalated quickly" and led up to the shooting on July 6.
According to a complaint, Boughton’s teenage son was in the front passenger seat during the incident. The vehicle carrying Smith moved up next to Boughton’s car in the parallel lane. Boughton "gestured" to the other car and the vehicles stayed side by side for about half a mile. Then the teenager heard a loud noise and saw that the driver’s side window had a small hole and had shattered. The car went off the road and crashed. Boughton’s son called 911, but didn’t see the shooter.
"There was nothing that led us to believe this was a back-and-forth road rage," Plymouth Police Chief Erik Fadden said on Thursday.
MNDOT surveillance video revealed that the suspect vehicle was driving "erratically" and fast before coming upon Boughton’s car. Police traced it back to Blue Pearl Animal Hospital, and, on surveillance video from the hospital, saw that the driver was wearing a white shirt with a strap across the chest prior to the shooting, according to the complaint.
Police requested the public’s help in locating the suspect vehicle caught in clips of MNDOT video. A local law firm offered thousands in reward money for information leading to an arrest. After receiving a tip from a towing company that they had a similar vehicle in their impound lot, investigators confirmed that the 2019 Chevrolet Suburban LT was the car involved in the shooting.
The Surburban was rented by a second witness in April 2021 and had been reported stolen by the rental company as it was never returned. Officers discovered that the suspect vehicle was parked at the witness’s residence on July 9, which was about half a mile from where the car was last seen on MNDOT cameras. Video from a nearby gas station showed a man in a white shirt with a handbag strapped across his chest driving the vehicle.
When searching the car, police found prescription paperwork and a work ID for Smith. On the second witness’s Facebook account police found a friend named Smith.
At 3:17 p.m. on July 6, the day of the shooting, Smith had posted a public Facebook Live video wearing the white shirt and handbag with the strap and waving a semi-automatic handgun with an extended magazine. Police enhanced the video and obtained a serial number for the gun and determined it was probably a Springfield XD.
They contacted Springfield Armory and confirmed that the weapon was a .45 caliber Springfield XD from 2006. The BCA identified a bullet recovered from Boughton’s vehicle as a .45 caliber.
A third witness reached out to officers and said she knew Smith and had seen him with the second witness the day after the incident and that he had a handgun with an extended magazine in his possession.
The second witness was in a romantic relationship with Smith. She told police that she "became suspicious" that her boyfriend took part in the homicide after someone sent her a news clip on Facebook with details of the shooting. She said Smith told her he’d ditched the suspect vehicle and was picked up by another person before leaving town. This struck her as suspicious since he "always drove" the car.
The girlfriend confronted Smith about the homicide to which he responded, "the police don’t have any evidence." She said he tried to convince her to come to Chicago with him after the news of the shooting broke to avoid "people that will be coming to talk to you," the complaint detailed.
With a warrant, police searched the girlfriend’s residence and found Smith’s belongings, including a bag identical to the one depicted in various videos on the day of the crime.
Two other people pictured in Smith’s Facebook Live video have been identified by police and are being investigated regarding their role in the shooting.
Smith remains in custody in Macon County, Ill.; as of Saturday morning, he awaits extradition to Hennepin County.