A Facebook video helped Plymouth police link 33-year-old Jamal Smith to the shooting
PLYMOUTH, Minnesota — Police in Plymouth have identified the suspect arrested in connection with the fatal shooting of a popular northwest metro baseball coach on Highway 169 in early July.
Police say Jamal Lindsey Smith, 33, of Chicago, will be charged with murder in the second degree for the July 6 shooting of Jay Boughton, who was killed as he and his son drove home from a baseball game.
Official charging documents are still pending against Smith; due to the high profile nature of the case, KARE 11 is naming him before charges are filed.
Plymouth Police Chief Erik Fadden said the Boughton family was grateful to learn of the arrest last week.
Chief Fadden said Smith was arrested in Decatur, Illinois on Tuesday by a team of Plymouth detectives, U.S. Marshals and Decatur police officers.
Smith is currently in custody in Illinois awaiting extradition to Minnesota.
After repeated requests for tips, court records reveal a Facebook Livestream video helped them crack the case.
It was posted on July 6 – just hours before the 169 murder – showing one man with a gun on his lap and another man with a gun in the back seat.
But how did police find it and connect it to the murder?
After police released a description of the SUV, search warrants obtained by KARE 11 show they got a tip from a local towing company.
It was an abandoned rental car – a Chevy Suburban matching the description with a Colorado plate.
When investigators checked the plate and the address of the person who rented it, they checked security video of a nearby gas station and identified a man driving the same SUV.
And when they checked his social media posts, they discovered the video.
It was 33-year-old Jamal Smith earlier on the same day of the shooting waving a gun. Police say it matches the type of gun used in the shooting.
At one point, the video shows a passenger in the car and later, another man in the back seat – also holding a gun.
After reviewing those images, investigators told a judge the interior of the car matches the abandoned SUV they’ve seized and have been processing.
Pulling all those pieces together, the search warrants we obtained show police were able to trace the suspected shooter’s entire route.
The SUV left a vet clinic in Arden Hills just minutes before it was shown entering I-694.
The traffic cam video shows the same SUV speeding, weaving in and out of traffic, following it all the way to Highway 169 where authorities say MNDOT video shows the SUV trying to change lanes – apparently blocked by the coach’s car – when the shooting occurred.
Finally, a police report shows authorities were able to track Smith down in Decatur Illinois by tracing where he last posted on Facebook.
That last post said, “Sometimes it’s your friends who keep your enemies updated about you… Be careful.”
There is currently an $11,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the suspect or suspects involved in Jay Boughton’s killing. Anyone with information is asked to call CrimeStoppers of Minnesota at 1-800-222-8477, or Plymouth police Captain Michael Reed at 763-509-5178.