Deadly Hwy. 169 shooting: Prosecutors seek higher sentence for suspect

Jay Boughton, 56, was shot and killed while driving on Highway 169 on July 10.  (FOX 9)

Prosecutors are seeking and upward sentencing departure for the suspect accused of shooting and killing a youth baseball coach along Highway 169 in Plymouth earlier this year. 

Jamal Smith, 33, of Chicago is charged with second-degree intentional murder and aiding an offender in the shooting death of Jay Boughton, 56, on July 6. Second-degree intentional murder carries a presumed sentence of 25.5 years in prison. If convicted, prosecutors want Smith sentenced to more prison time. 

According to the charges, Smith’s SUV moved close to Boughton’s vehicle on the highway. Boughton gestured at Smith, who then pulled his vehicle even with Boughton’s and shot into it.  

Traffic cameras show a silver SUV driving erratically and at a high rate of speed near Boughton’s vehicle shortly before the shooting, the charges say. 

Prosecutors are seeking the upgraded sentence because Boughton was killed in the presence of his teenage son, and because Smith allegedly has a history of pointing guns at other drivers "for minor reasons," according to the court filing. 

In the hours before the deadly shooting on Hwy. 169, Smith reportedly "brandished a firearm to five other passing vehicles and semi-trucks" between Chicago and Minnesota, court documents say. Prosecutors also claim to have a police report of an incident in Wisconsin. 

Smith remains in custody at the Hennepin County Jail. A judge set his bail at $1.5 million due to concerns about public safety and him fleeing the state. He will make his next court appearance on Oct. 11.