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Hearing for Vallejo officer’s accused killer set to begin

By
From page A3 | November 27, 2012 |

Henry Albert Smith is suspected of killing Vallejo police officer James Capoot, Thursday, Nov. 17, 2011, after an armed robbery at a Vallejo bank.

Henry Albert Smith is suspected of killing Vallejo police officer James Capoot, Thursday, Nov. 17, 2011, after an armed robbery at a Vallejo bank.

FAIRFIELD — A probable cause hearing is scheduled to begin Tuesday for a Fairfield man accused of killing Vallejo Police Officer Jim Capoot after a bank heist in Vallejo.

The hearing comes more than a year after Capoot was gunned down and after numerous delays.

District Attorney Don du Bain has not yet announced whether he intends to seek the death penalty for Henry A. Smith Jr., 38, who allegedly shot Capoot after a car chase and brief foot chase that ended in the backyard of a Vallejo home, where Capoot was shot and killed and where Smith was captured moments later by Vallejo police on the afternoon of Nov. 17, 2011.

Vallejo officers also recovered a gun in the backyard.

A state ballot proposition that would have abolished the death penalty did not pass in the most recent election.

Since Smith’s first court appearance, his defense attorneys have treated the case as if prosecutors will eventually pursue the death penalty. Deputy District Attorney Karen Jensen, who has been assigned the case, has repeatedly declined to state whether her boss intends to seek the death penalty.

Smith, an ex-con, has pleaded not guilty and is in jail without bail.

Judge Peter B. Foor, who is presiding over the probable cause hearing, has previously said he expects the hearing to take two days.

Reach Jess Sullivan at 427-6919 or jsullivan@dailyrepublic.net. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jsullivandr.

Jess Sullivan

Jess has covered the criminal justice system in Solano County for several years. He was an embedded reporter in Iraq in 2003.
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