FAIRFIELD — More than 10 months after being ordered to stand trial on a murder charge, a man accused of killing a police officer had dates scheduled Thursday for a jury trial.
During a brief court appearance, defense attorneys for Henry A. Smith Jr., 40, said they would need another year to be ready for trial. Judge Peter B. Foor gave them 11 months and set the start of the murder trial for Aug. 19, 2014.
Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for Smith, a Fairfield ex-con with a lengthy criminal history who allegedly shot and killed Vallejo police officer Jim Capoot after Smith robbed a Bank of America in Vallejo on the afternoon of Nov. 17, 2011.
Capoot spotted Smith shortly after the robbery, got into a high-speed chase with him on Vallejo streets that ended on a residential street, where Smith jumped a side yard fence into a backyard.
Capoot, a 19-year police veteran and a Vacaville resident, followed the bank robbery suspect over the fence before three shots rang out and Capoot was killed. Police captured Smith moments later.
Smith faces four special circumstance accusations that make him eligible for the death penalty. The special circumstance accusations are that the killing occurred while Smith was avoiding arrest, that the victim was a peace officer, that Smith was lying in wait before the homicide and that it occurred while he was fleeing from a robbery.
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