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Testimony begins in murder trial for man who killed panhandler in 2020

2 months 3 days 15 hours ago Tuesday, April 09 2024 Apr 9, 2024 April 09, 2024 7:52 PM April 09, 2024 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - On the first day of testimony in his murder trial, jurors heard a recording of accused Jace Boyd saying he was forced to shoot a panhandler in the parking lot of Trader Joe's. 

"I didn't do nothing wrong... That m***** f***** made me shoot him," Boyd said in the recording from the police car in which he was detained after law enforcement arrived.

Boyd is accused of second-degree murder in the 2020 shooting death of Danny Buckley, a 61-year-old man who was panhandling in the Trader Joe's parking lot on Perkins Road in August 2020.

In addition to the police car recording, jurors heard several 911 calls, including one from Boyd himself, telling authorities he just shot a "vagrant" whom he believed tried to attack him and his fiancé.

Boyd claims he acted in self defense and his attorney mentioned the "stand your ground" statute.

Margaret Lagatutta, a defense attorney not involved in Boyd's trial, said the law is complex.

"It gives you the right to protect yourself and others and your property in your home, in your car. Outside your car, that's where it gets kind of gray," Lagatutta said.

She said that in Boyd's case it may be difficult to prove.

"I think being in a public parking lot makes it complicated. Are you in your car? Are you out of your car? How far did the person aggressively come toward you or not? "

According to witnesses and Boyd's statement to law enforcement, Boyd was standing outside his truck when he pulled the trigger. The state says Buckley was too far away from Boyd to pose an immediate threat.

The trial is scheduled to continue Wednesday.

Buckley's family has also sued Boyd in civil court, seeking damages for wrongful death.

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