Thursday, March 5, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Trial delayed for slain officer’s accused killer

smith henry prob, 11/27/12

Henry A. Smith Jr., right, the suspect in the Nov. 17, 2011, killing of Vallejo Police Officer James Capoot and robbery of a Bank of America, speaks to his attorney Oscar Bobrow, left, during his probable cause hearing in November 2012 in Solano County Superior Court in Fairfield. (Brad Zweerink/Daily Republic file 2012)

By
From page A7 | May 07, 2014 |

FAIRFIELD — The death penalty jury trial for an accused cop killer was postponed, again.

Henry A. Smith, 40, of Fairfield, was scheduled to start a murder with special circumstances trial in August that was expected to last at least four months for the killing of Vallejo Police Officer Jim Capoot in 2011.

Judge Peter B. Foor agreed Monday to a defense team request to postpone the trial, partly due to prosecutors not having already compiled victim impact statements and sharing them with the defense team. Prosecutor Karen Jensen said she had planned to get the emotionally wrenching statements in the upcoming weeks, nearly three months in advance of the scheduled trial.

Foor ordered Smith to return to court June 3 when a new date for the start of a trial will be set. Foor also said he expected concerns raised by the defense team about other aspects of the case would be resolved by the next hearing.

Among the concerns is the defense team wanting to know about a jail guard’s termination. The guard is one of two witnesses who prosecutors say claims to have overheard Smith plotting a deadly breakout from the jail.

Smith is accused of robbing a Bank of America in Vallejo in November 2011 and then getting into a high-speed pursuit with Capoot. Capoot followed Smith into a residential neighborhood in east Vallejo, where he rammed Smith’s truck before Smith fled the wrecked truck on foot. Capoot followed him into a backyard, where the veteran officer was fatally shot.

Smith was arrested a few moments later and police wrestled a gun away from him.

Reach Jess Sullivan at 427-6919 or [email protected] 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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Discussion | 18 comments

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  • Former FF ResidentMay 06, 2014 - 12:48 am

    Once again the wheels of justice have ground to a halt.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • 2realMay 06, 2014 - 2:23 am

    Those wheels havent turned in a long long time.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • perreynoidMay 06, 2014 - 5:09 am

    So if the case isn't hampered by the dirty pathologist, it's always delayed because the dirty DA's office ALWAYS withholds info from the defense. This place is such a joke.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Mr. PracticalMay 06, 2014 - 5:42 am

    The accused has the right to a speedy trial. The victim's family and friends, not so much.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • The MisterMay 06, 2014 - 6:33 am

    Sounds like the DA's Office is going to be on trial here. Probably a big chance they will screw this up and the cop-killer won't get his due justice. Funny how the trial is moved past voting day... takes some pressure off DA du Bain, doesn't it?

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • JazzAzzMay 06, 2014 - 6:57 am

    Samo Samo defense team game playing, DELAY DELAY DELAY. Then later on in appeals claim that their client didn't get a speedy enough trial. And What the heck, committed in 2011???!!! What we need is to go back to old West justice, a quick trial the day the guy got arrested or the next day, or as soon as the areas Judge could get there, and then HUNG the VERY NEXT DAY, after being found guilty. I would also add hanging the defense team with him!!!!!!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • It never endsMay 06, 2014 - 8:26 am

    Du Bain and his administration have to be one of the most incompetent district attorney's offices in the state. What is the cost of that incompetence? Tax payers of Solano county are footing the bill for DA's poor ethics and lack of preparedness. All these additional hearings were avoidable. Most importantly, the victim's family doesn't get the justice and closure they deserve.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Part of the solutionMay 06, 2014 - 12:15 pm

    Thank you for weighing in Krishna

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Hmm....May 06, 2014 - 8:42 am

    Pretty sure I read the defense team requested a delay and it was granted.. If the defense side requests a postponement and the judge grants it, what does that have to do with the prosecution? There are time requirements for the prosecution to provide information to the defense that are mandated by law. The DAs office hasn't violated those mandates. This is an example of what occurs time and time again with the defense easier to push cases out as far as possible, and judges allowing it.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Rich GiddensMay 07, 2014 - 5:41 pm

    Here's DuBain lack of logic----even if a judge slams his gavel and bellows ''death penalty''' it will never happen in CALIFORNIA. Texas is another story though. Dubain is just posturing and grandstanding.'

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Dumb assesMay 06, 2014 - 8:57 am

    Let him free just like they let all the other cops free who killed innocent unarmed men in the Bay Area! Who cares about a coo down, I DONT these cops are crooked & need to start carrying a camera on uniforms. I like many others can care less & it ashamed cops have a double standard to kill. Does this mean I can be a officer kill somebody then get away with it? Yes it does

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • BMay 06, 2014 - 10:03 am

    More well educated citizens in our fine community. I love when criminals cry foul at the big mean cops. Its hilarious when career criminals try to make it the cops fault. Because you know, they are the ones out selling drugs, shooting innocent people, and being pieces of trash for their entire life. The criminals are the ones out trying to clean up the community, protect citizens and give us a safe place to live.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Hahaha...May 06, 2014 - 2:53 pm

    Something tells me you wouldn't meet the minimum qualifications to become a police officer....

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • JazzAzzMay 06, 2014 - 7:13 pm

    Or a M_RON!!!!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • SWMay 06, 2014 - 1:21 pm

    This is Complete nonsense. Who's the victim here? Officer Capoot has a wife and 3 beautiful daughters. When do they get closure? It's been almost 3 freakin years. It amazes me how long cases can keep getting postponed and postponed . Whatever happend to the Marcy's law, for the victims families.This family needs closure.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Tax PayerMay 07, 2014 - 4:51 am

    The criminal justice system at it's best in this one. By the time we get to trial the defense attorneys will have to try to blame Officer Capoot for being murdered. The goal of defense attorneys is to confuse, delay, and continue to make excuses why this POS should not be on "death row". Oh I forgot good ole California doesn't believe in death row anyone. It was voted in by the majority but the minority and the judges have provided excuse after excuse why this is "cruel punishment" for the persons that could care less about their violent crimes they commit. Ass backwards criminal justice system. Police do their tough jobs only to have attorneys play their games in the court room daily. This is another reason we need new leadership in the DA's office!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • InterestingMay 07, 2014 - 6:44 am

    I don't even understand why this dirtbag gets a trial. Everyone was there at the scene when the officer was shot. What's the mystery? Why a delay? Who cares about a pathologist or impact statements. There is no mistaken identity regarding the defendant....I just don't get it.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • BMay 07, 2014 - 7:58 am

    Probably one of the reasons Im not a cop but If I was one of the officers at the scene this guy never would have made it to trial.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
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