Trial in I-5 shooting case is underway

Skye Kinkade
Albert Anthony Smith

The trial for a Medford, Ore. man arrested for initiating a shootout with law enforcement officers on Interstate 5 in 2011 began Tuesday, Jan. 29 in a Shasta County courtroom.

Albert Anthony Smith, 44, has been held on $5 million bail since his arrest on Oct. 27, 2011. His trial is scheduled to run through Feb. 21, according to online Shasta County Superior Court documents.

He faces life in prison if convicted of all charges against him, including 10 counts of attempted murder of a police officer, said Shasta County Deputy District Attorney Curtis Woods, who is prosecuting the case.

Smith was shot at least three times when he reportedly opened fire on law enforcement officers with a semi-automatic assault weapon on the afternoon of Oct. 27, 2011. According to police reports, Smith led officers on a 50-mile chase on I-5, which began at the Oregon border and ended when a spike strip disabled his van near Castella.

Five California Highway Patrol officers from the Mount Shasta office, lieutenant Joseph Micheletti, sergeant Anthony Gummert, officer Brian Hoskins, officer Michael Barham and Eric Degraffenreid, as well as officer Eric Mallory from the Yreka office and Shasta County Sheriff’s deputy David Eoff returned Smith’s fire. None of the officers were struck, with the exception of CHP K-9, Edo, who had one toe removed.