Henry Albert Smith appears in the courtroom of Solano County Superior Court Judge Peter B. Foor Tuesday, November 29, 2011 in Fairfield, Calif. Smith is
Henry Albert Smith appears in the courtroom of Solano County Superior Court Judge Peter B. Foor Tuesday, November 29, 2011 in Fairfield, Calif. Smith is accused of shooting Vallejo police Officer Jim Capoot to death following a bank robbery on November 17. The Reporter File Photo

A Solano County Superior Court judge on Tuesday set a jury trial date in the case of a Fairfield man accused of the 2011 gunshot slaying of a veteran Vallejo police officer.

Judge Peter B. Foor set April 15, 2015 as the start of jury selection for murder defendant Henry Albert Smith Jr., 40, who is facing the potential of the death penalty in connection with the slaying of Vacaville resident and Vallejo Police Officer Jim Capoot. Evidentiary issues that have been litigated over the last several months led Foor at a prior hearing to cancel a jury trial that had been set to begin next month.

According to attorneys in the case, jury selection could take up to a month, and the dual-phase trial could take up to six months to complete.

Smith is charged with murder, robbery and being a felon in possession of a firearm in connection with the Nov. 17, 2011, robbery of a Vallejo bank and subsequent police pursuit. Smith, who is alleged to have pulled the heist, was chased into a North Vallejo backyard where Capoot was slain.

According to testimony at a November 2012 probable-cause hearing, officers soon followed in, only to find Capoot lying on the ground in an open area of the yard, having been shot.

Smith was apprehended down the street from where the shooting occurred. Officers recovered a .40-caliber Glock semi-automatic pistol in his left-front pocket, police testified.


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A criminalist with the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office testified that three bullet casings were recovered in the back yard, among other evidence. Those shell casings were analyzed by a firearms and toolmarks examiner for the same agency. The examiner testified that the shell casings were traced back to the gun found on Smith.

Defense attorneys have litigated a number of issues in recent months, most recently two attempts to have Foor delve into the personnel files of more than a dozen Vallejo police officers involved in the investigation in an attempt to ferret out any credibility issues.

Those requests have been denied, however, prosecutors recently sought to have Foor look into the personnel files of two law enforcement witnesses over the same concerns.

On Tuesday, Foor indicated that he would be sharing with attorneys information as it related to those two witnesses.

Defense attorneys also indicated on Tuesday that they would be filing a motion challenging the constitutionality of the prior felony that prosecutors allege Smith to have been convicted of.

That hearing is set for 10 a.m. on Sept. 2.

Smith has pleaded not guilty and remains in Solano County Jail custody without bail.