Jace Boyd
Jace Boyd

Jury finds 28-yr-old who shot, killed panhandler, guilty of manslaughter

BATON ROUGE — Jace Boyd, 28, will be spending time behind bars after a jury found him guilty of manslaughter of a panhandler.

His trial started Monday, April 8. Boyd was on trial for the shooting and killing of 61-year-old Danny Buckley in Aug. 2020. The deadly shooting happened in the Trader Joe’s parking lot where officials say Buckley was a panhandler asking various people for money.

Jace Boyd, on trial for killing panhandler

Boyd’s attorneys say he shot in self-defense because he felt threatened that day by Buckley’s “aggressive” manner. However, District Attorney Hillar Moore said evidence shows Buckley had his hands by his side and was not armed at the time he was shot.

Buckley took one bullet to his stomach and died from his injuries on the scene.

The question that came up in this trial is since Boyd shot the panhandler from his vehicle, was he protected by the “Stand Your Ground” law in Louisiana. That allows people to use force, even deadly force, if they feel threatened in their home. However, a vehicle is considered to be an extension of your home.

“I really don’t think the ‘Stand your ground’ has that much effect on this case than just the pure facts of how it went down but you can defend yourself in a car and that’s generally when you’re in your car and someone is coming up to your car to do some harm to you. If there’s no threat from the other side, because your threat has to be reasonable, so standing your ground is only when you’re acting in a reasonable way after some aggressive action is towards you. That’s where in this case, there was no testimony about aggressiveness on behalf of the person who was shot, except that he came to ask for money. There were five witnesses who testified as to what he did and then he went up to another car and they didn’t find it a need to defend themselves. So I think the facts separate this from a typical stand your ground case,” said Moore.

Closing arguments were Thursday morning in the Boyd’s trial with the case handed over to the jury before noon.

The maximum sentence for manslaughter in Louisiana is 40 years.

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