MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The initial court appearance scheduled Wednesday for a Chicago man accused of fatally shooting a motorist on a Twin Cities highway in an apparent road rage incident was postponed after authorities said the defendant was too agitated to proceed.
Shortly before the virtual hearing was scheduled to start for Jamal L. Smith and other defendants, prosecutor Judith Cole told public defense attorney Shauna Kieffer of the difficulty that Hennepin County deputies were having with her client.
“Deputies said he was too violent,” Cole said, after which Judge David Moreno granted Kieffer's request for a one-day delay. The lawyers did not talk specifically about Smith's conduct, the Star Tribune reported.
Smith, 33, is accused of shooting 56-year-old Jay Boughton in the head on July 6 as Boughton drove his son home from a baseball game on Highway 169. Police have said a traffic altercation between the two drivers “escalated quickly" and Boughton, of Crystal, might have been killed over something as minor as a lane change.
Smith is charged with second-degree intentional murder and aiding an offender after the fact.
Boughton’s son told police that the suspect’s SUV pulled up and his father “gestured” at its driver, according to court documents. Within 10 seconds, the son said, the driver’s side passenger window was shattered by a bullet and his father was slumped over.