SANTA ANA (CNS) - The attorney for a 39-year-old Long Beach man charged with murder in the killing of a bicyclist in Dana Point raised a suspicion Tuesday that his client was not mentally healthy enough to assist in his defense.
Vanroy Evan Smith, who also faces a sentencing enhancement for the personal use of a deadly weapon, is scheduled for a hearing on Feb. 22 in the Central Justice Center in Santa Ana to consider a mental health evaluation for the defendant.
Smith's attorney, Kevin Song of the Orange County Public Defender's Office, raised the doubt about his client's mental health at a pretrial hearing Tuesday in the Harbor Justice Center in Newport Beach. The criminal proceedings against Smith have been suspended as he is evaluated. If it is shown he is not mentally healthy enough to assist in his defense, then the criminal case will be suspended until his sanity is restored.
Smith pleaded not guilty Feb. 3 at his arraignment in the jail courtroom in Santa Ana.
He is accused of killing Dr. Michael John Mammone, 58, about 3 p.m. Feb. 1 at Pacific Coast Highway and Crown Valley Parkway.
Orange County sheriff's deputies were dispatched to the corner for a traffic collision and assault.
The victim was riding a bicycle north on PCH when Smith struck him from behind and then got out and stabbed the bicyclist, sheriff's deputies alleged. Bystanders detained Smith until deputies arrived.
Sheriff's investigators say there does not appear to be any connection between the two.
Smith could face up to 26 years to life in prison if convicted at trial.