Convicted Vallejo cop killer gets life in prison

A man convicted in July of killing Vallejo police Officer James Capoot during a foot chase in 2011 was sentenced today to three life terms in prison.

Henry Albert Smith Jr., 41, was handed the concurrent sentences by Judge Peter Foor in a Fairfield courtroom packed with police officers.

"There has never been one iota of sympathy or recognition for what he's done," Foor said of Smith during the sentencing. "He is cold and calculated. He made his own bed and richly deserves this sentence."

Smith was found guilty of shooting and killing Vallejo police Officer James Capoot during a foot chase on Nov. 17, 2011.

Capoot, 45, had chased Smith as he drove a silver GMC Denali away from a bank robbery at the Bank of America on Springs Road at about 1:30 p.m. that day.

Smith spun out in the 100 block of Janice Street, got out of the car and ran into the neighborhood. Capoot followed him and Smith fired two or three shots at him, the mortal wound striking Capoot in the back.

Smith was arrested moments later.

He maintained his innocence during his trial, but was convicted by a jury on July 24 of murder to avoid arrest, murder of a police officer in the performance of his duty and murder during the commission of a robbery.

"It's clear this community lost a very, very special person when Officer Jim Capoot was killed in the line of duty," Foor said. "It's clear Mr. Smith has no insight or recognition of the horrendous damage he has done. His lack of remorse speaks for itself."

Smith did not speak at the hearing and showed no emotion as he was sentenced.

Capoot's son-in-law, Anthony Diaz, read a statement on behalf of the family at the hearing Monday.
"You will go to prison and be irrelevant to us. We will never think of you again," Diaz said. "We know you did it and so do you. A confession would have been so much easier but we didn't expect you to do the right thing."

Prosecutors decided in September not to seek the death penalty for Smith. Several jurors would have been unavailable to participate, necessitating selecting a new jury, and Capoot's family was too devastated to drag the proceedings out any longer, prosecutors said.