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Jurors pose questions to judge while deliberating fate of man who killed panhandler

1 month 5 days 20 hours ago Thursday, April 11 2024 Apr 11, 2024 April 11, 2024 11:48 AM April 11, 2024 in News
Source: WBRZ

UPDATE: Early Thursday afternoon, the jury deliberated the fate of Jace Boyd, who is charged with second-degree murder after the shooting death of Danny Buckley. 

The jury will decide whether to convict Boyd of second-degree murder, which carries a mandatory life sentence, or a lesser charge such as manslaughter or negligent homicide, which have maximum terms of 40 years and 5 years, respectively. The panel can also choose to decide if Buckley's death was justified. 

Jurors have posed two questions to the judge. They want to know more about the manslaughter statute and the specifics of an illegal use of a weapon accusation.

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BATON ROUGE — The state rested its case Wednesday against a man accused in the 2020 shooting death of a panhandler outside the Trader Joe's grocery store on Perkins Road, and the defense team opted against putting anyone on the stand.

Closing arguments were scheduled for Thursday in Jace Boyd's trial on second-degree murder and illegal use of a weapon charges.

Boyd, 28, is accused of killing Danny Buckley, 61. Prosecutors at this week's trial played a recording from a police car in which Boyd said "That m***** f*****made me shoot him" by approaching him aggressively.

Boyd's own 911 call was also played. He called police to report that he had just shot a "vagrant" who he believed was about to attack him and his fiance. He had said previously that he intervened after Buckley had harassed others. 

Boyd's former fiance testified Wednesday, saying she did not see Boyd shoot Buckley, but did hear the gunfire. Holly Tidwell said the man was "briskly walking" toward Boyd. She also said Buckley didn't seem "all the way mentally there."

"His actions did not put me at ease," she testified. Asked whether she was afraid of Buckley, she said "Yes, when he was walking aggressively toward us."

Louisiana has a "stand your ground" law that allows people to use force, even deadly force, if they are legitimately threatened. The law is typically cited after incidents in which someone is threatened in their car or on private property. Buckley was in a shopping center parking lot when he was shot Aug. 22, 2020.

Boyd has said he was acting in self-defense. Prosecutors say Buckley was too far away to be a genuine threat.

Two women whom Buckley had also approached testified Wednesday as well. They said they did not feel threatened, nor did they want Boyd to intervene.

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