Vanroy Evan Smith also faces a sentencing enhancement for the personal use of a deadly weapon. He pleaded not guilty at his arraignment in the jail courtroom in Santa Ana.
"An innocent man is dead because he took a bike ride to enjoy a beautiful California day along the beach and he was hit with a car and stabbed to death by someone he apparently never met," said Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer. "The murder of a complete stranger in broad daylight for what appears to be absolutely no reason is the stuff of nightmares."
Smith is accused of killing Dr. Michael John Mammone, 58, about 3 p.m. Wednesday at Pacific Coast Highway and Crown Valley Parkway.
Orange County sheriff's deputies were dispatched to the corner for a traffic collision and assault.
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The victim was riding a bicycle north on PCH when Smith allegedly struck him from behind and then got out and stabbed the bicyclist, according to the Sheriff's Department. Bystanders detained Smith until deputies arrived.
Sheriff's investigators say there does not appear to be any connection between the two men.
Mammone was an ER doctor at Providence Mission Hospital in Laguna Beach.
A pretrial hearing was scheduled for Feb. 16 in the Harbor Justice Center in Newport Beach.
Smith could face up to 25 years to life in prison if convicted at trial.
Alexander Solhi, a business associate of Smith from years ago, said Smith was an accountant and did payroll for his law firm. Smith worked next door from him until 2019.
"I never saw any rage or dangerous propensities with him, so it's obviously shocking and saddening to see a loss of life," Solhi said.
Solhi is left wondering what went wrong with the family man he once knew.
"He was generally a very nice, pleasant young man, your typical accountant; a lot of times quiet," Solhi said. "He did seem sometimes stressed out but who isn't stressed out?"
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