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Murder trial for man accused of killing panhandler underway

2 months 2 weeks 2 days ago Monday, April 08 2024 Apr 8, 2024 April 08, 2024 10:48 PM April 08, 2024 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - Monday, lawyers weren't able to wrap up jury selection for the second-degree murder trial against Jace Boyd, who is accused of killing a man in the parking lot of a Baton Rouge shopping center. 

Lawyers managed to agree on 10 jurors, and will work on securing the final four Tuesday morning.

Once selected, the 12 jurors and two alternates will decide whether Boyd acted in self-defense when he fired his gun at 61-year-old Danny Buckley.

According to witnesses, Buckley was a regular panhandler at the Trader Joe's shopping center on Perkins Road.

On a hot August day in 2020, Boyd was there. He says Buckley asked him for money, then approached two women. When Boyd told him to leave them alone, Buckley began to walk back toward Boyd, who says he felt threatened, and shot him. Buckley was unarmed. Boyd admitted all of this to police that same night.

In an interview in 2020, Buckley family attorney, Ryan Thompson, acknowledged that Buckley was often seen asking for money in that parking lot.

"Mr. Buckley was panhandling but a lot of times that money that he got he was going to take that money and return it to his family to provide for them," he said.

Monday, Thompson could not speak much about the case, but did tell us the family is prepared for whatever is to come.

"Four years has been a long process. The family has been waiting on this day and so the family wants some closure and so once this trial proceeds and there is a verdict that is rendered, we will respect whatever the jury decides and then we'll pick up the civil case and we'll see where that goes."

Thompson filed the civil suit on behalf of Buckley's son in 2021.

They allege the shooting constitutes a hate crime, however Boyd is not being criminally charged with one.

"Because of that wrongful death there are damages that Mr. Buckley would have suffered as well as we believe that there is a loss of love and affection from the son. In a civil case, if there's a finding by the jury there will be monetary damages that will be awarded to Mr. Donell Buckley."

The trial will likely begin calling witnesses Tuesday.

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