The Reporter (Vacaville)

Despite a pending ‘doctor’s report,’ Vaca murder case appears to be moving forward

Marcus J. Smith, 44, who faces the mental competency report, and brother Kevin M. Smith, 28, order to return to Department 4 at 9 a.m. July 14 to set a preliminar­y hearing

- By Richard Bammer rbammer@thereporte­ Contact reporter Richard Bammer at (707) 4538164.

Despite a pending a mental competency report, according to court records, criminal proceeding­s appear to be moving forward for the elder of two brothers charged in an April 2019 killing that Vacaville police say was a case of domestic violence.

Marcus James Smith, 44, and Kevin Michael Smith, 28, were scheduled to appear Wednesday in Department 4 for a readiness conference and to set a preliminar­y hearing date. Court records earlier showed that the elder Smith also faced a socalled “1368 doctor’s report,” but Judge E. Bradley Nelson vacated all those proceeding­s for an unknown reason and has reschedule­d them for 9 a.m. July 14 in the Hall of Justice in Fairfield.

On June 9, according to court records , Nelson sent letters to Napa psychologi­st Sabina Correa and San Francisco forensic psychologi­st John Shields, but there was no additional indication that they had responded and which one, or both, would perhaps be at the July 14 proceeding­s to reveal the mental competency of Marcus Smith.

Nelson previously suspended proceeding­s against the elder Smith on May 19 and ordered the doctor’s examinatio­n the next day, according to records.

The elder Smith is represente­d by Vallejo criminal defense attorney Daniel J. Russo. The Public Defender represents the younger brother. In recent months, Senior Deputy District Attorney Julie Underwood has led the prosecutio­n.

The DA’s Office filed a formal criminal complaint on April 16, 2019.

Court records indicate Marcus Smith is alleged to have killed Ronelyn Egipto, 50, during the early morning hours of April 13 in Vacaville. He and his younger brother were arrested the same day, the elder Smith on suspicion of murder, his brother on suspicion of being an accessory after the fact. Both were later booked into Solano County Jail.

Shortly afterward, Kevin Smith posted a $25,000 bond and was released from custody. His older brother remains in jail.

Events unfolded around 2:30 a.m., when Vacaville police responded to reports of a domestic dispute on Peregrine Way.

When officers arrived, Egipto was found dead within the residence and two men, later identified as the Smith brothers, were taken into custody, officials said.

Investigat­ors believe Egipto and the elder Smith brother had a romantic relationsh­ip, Lt. Mark Donaldson told The Reporter after the Smiths were arrested.

Details leading up to the violence are unclear, though Donaldson said Egipto died “as a result of blunt force trauma throughout her body.”

Explaining Kevin Smith’s charge, Donaldson said the younger brother received a call from his brother and arrived at the home. Investigat­ors do not believe he was involved in the murder but helped his older brother by “cleaning up” evidence.

If found guilty of firstdegre­e murder, the elder Smith faces 25 years to life in state prison. Kevin Smith, if found guilty of being an accessory, faces as little as a year in jail or as much as three years in prison.

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