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People gather in the parking lot of Trader Joe's for a vigil honoring the memories of Danny Buckley and Trayford Pellerin, Saturday, August 29, 2020, near the intersection of Perkins Road and Acadian Thruway in Baton Rouge, La. Danny Buckley, 61, was shot and killed by Jace Boyd, 24, while panhandling in the parking lot on Saturday, August 24. Trayford Pellerin was shot and killed by Lafayette Police Department officers Friday, August 21 in Lafayette, La.

The man accused of killing an unarmed panhandler outside Trader Joe's last month has been released from jail on $300,000 bond, exactly one week after he was arrested following significant public outcry about the shooting.

Jace Boyd, 24, had posted bond and was released as of Thursday morning, according to online jail records.

He was arrested last week in the death of Danny Buckley, 61, who was panhandling in the Trader Joe's parking lot when the two got into a confrontation. Boyd retrieved a gun from his car, pointed it at the unarmed Buckley and pulled the trigger — but the weapon initially misfired, according to a police report.

Boyd quickly reloaded and this time fired the fatal shot. Police said the victim was unarmed and out of reach at that moment, though he was approaching Boyd in the parking lot.

The shooter contacted Baton Rouge police on the scene and identified himself, then admitted to killing Buckley during an interview with detectives later that night. However, he was not immediately arrested because he claimed self defense, according to police.

He was arrested a few days later after the mayor issued a statement calling for a thorough review of the case.

A review of several recent second-degree murder arrests reveals that Boyd's $300,000 bail is roughly in line with what Baton Rouge judges typically assign in such cases. Bond amounts range from $190,000 to $550,000 for people accused of second-degree murder over the past several months.

Attorneys for the Buckley family claim the shooting constitutes a hate crime.

Buckley was Black and Boyd is White. The attorneys questioned whether police would have handled the case differently if a young Black man shot an older White man in the same Perkins Road shopping center, which contains several other upscale retail stores and restaurants in addition to the Trader Joe's market.

Boyd's attorneys didn't respond to requests for comment on Thursday.


Email Lea Skene at lskene@theadvocate.com.