Mistrial declared in penalty phase of man convicted of killing Vallejo officer

FAIRFIELD (BCN) —  A Solano County Superior Court judge Tuesday morning declared a mistrial in the penalty phase of Henry Albert Smith Jr.’s trial for killing Vallejo police Officer Jim Capoot in 2011.

Smith, 41, of Fairfield, was convicted of all charges and special circumstances Friday. The trial to determine whether he should receive the death penalty was to begin Tuesday week, but one of the jurors is moving out of state Thursday.

All five alternates were pressed into service for various reasons, including illness, during the month-long guilt phase of the trial, leaving an incomplete panel to determine Smith’s fate.

A new date to begin the penalty phase with a new jury will be set Aug. 31.

Smith was convicted of killing Capoot, 45, of Vacaville, during a foot pursuit in the backyard of a residence on Janice Street in Vallejo on Nov. 17, 2011.

Vallejo police were pursuing Smith, who was suspected of robbing a Bank of America in Vallejo that afternoon. Capoot pursued Smith’s GMC Denali in his patrol car, then ran after him when Smith fled his vehicle. Smith shot Capoot three times.

The prosecution presented DNA and ballistic evidence linking Smith to the murder.

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