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A hearing is scheduled in Solano County Superior Court Tuesday morning to determine whether Henry Albert Smith will stand trial for the murder of Vallejo police Officer James Capoot. Smith, 39, of Fairfield, is charged with fatally shooting the 19-year veteran of the Vallejo Police Department who chased him in the 100 block of Janice Street after a robbery at the Bank of America on Nov. 17. The Solano County District Attorney’s Office also filed four special circumstances with the murder charge.
They allege Smith killed Capoot during the performance of his duties, the murder was committed during the immediate flight after a robbery, the murder was committed to avoid or prevent arrest and that Smith intentionally killed Capoot by lying in wait. If found guilty of murder and any of the four special circumstances, Smith faces life in prison without parole or the death penalty, Solano County District Attorney Donald A. du Bain said when he filed the charges against Smith last year. Smith has pleaded not guilty and is being held without bail in the Solano County jail.
Vallejo police said Smith fled the 1:30 p.m. robbery of the bank on Springs Road in a GMC Denali. During the pursuit, Capoot used his patrol car to force the SUV to spin out, then chased Smith on foot in the residential neighborhood, police said. Capoot and Smith were about 10 to 12 feet apart when Smith allegedly fired two or three shots, police said.
Capoot was wearing body armor but suffered a mortal wound in the back, Sgt. Jeff Bassett said. Smith was arrested as he tried to break into a nearby home, police said. Capoot, a Vacaville resident, succumbed to his injuries at a hospital. An estimated 4,000 people attended his memorial service at Vallejo High School’s Corbus Field on Nov. 30.
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