MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A judge on Tuesday refused to lower bail for a Chicago man accused of fatally shooting a Twin Cities man on a Minnesota highway after an apparent road-rage incident.
Jamal L. Smith, 33, is being held on $3.5 million bond in connection with the July death of 56-year-old Jay Boughton. Investigators have said Boughton was shot in the head as he drove his son home from a baseball game on Highway 169 in the Minneapolis suburb of Plymouth.
Police have said a traffic altercation between the two drivers “escalated quickly,” and Smith may have killed Boughton, of Crystal, over something as minor as a lane change.
Smith is charged with first- and second-degree murder.
Defense attorney Emmett Donnelly complained during a court hearing that Smith’s bail is more than three times that of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. Donnelly said court filings by prosecutors alleging other road rage incidents were an effort to “brand Mr. Smith as a monster for the purpose to make him less than human.”
Prosecutors said Smith is not only a risk to flee but is a danger to the public.
“He has been on the phone (from jails in central Illinois and Minneapolis) tampering with witnesses, threatening individuals,” prosecutor Daniel Allard said, adding that the prosecution intends to ask the court to take away Smith’s jail phone privileges.
The next hearing for Smith is scheduled for Dec. 1.