Updated:February 11, 2023
-The Press Enterprise
The Long Beach man accused of running over and stabbing a beloved physician in Dana Point earlier this month confessed to the killing in a jailhouse interview Friday, Feb. 10, saying he has no regrets and was entitled to commit murder because he is both God and Jesus Christ.
In a rambling, hourlong interview with a Southern California News Group reporter, Vanroy Evan Smith cited end-of-world scriptures from the Bible’s Book of Revelation and said that if the public knew he was the Messiah and the “king of kings,” they would think differently about him and his crime.
“I have killed,” Smith, 39, said during the interview at Orange County’s Intake Release Center in Santa Ana. “If they knew who I was, they would let me walk out of here. They would fulfill all my desires.”
Smith, originally from Jamaica, has pleaded not guilty to homicide charges in the death of Dr. Michael John Mammone, and is being held in jail on $1 million bail.
The Orange County Sheriff’s Department said Mammone, 58, was riding his mountain bike in the bicycle lane on Pacific Coast Highway at Crown Valley Parkway when he was struck from behind by a white Lexus driven by Smith. The impact hurled the doctor into the air.
Smith then got out of his car and stabbed Mammone with a large, long knife, sheriff’s deputies said. Witnesses on cellphone video were heard describing it as a machete. One man directed others to find it in nearby bushes. Bystanders detained Smith until deputies arrived.
Mammone died after he was rushed to Providence Mission Hospital in Mission Viejo, one of the hospitals where he had served as an emergency medicine physician.
Smith, who denied in the jailhouse interview that he is mentally ill, said he awoke on the morning of Feb. 1 fully expecting to kill someone by the end of the day, adding that he has long been plagued by troubling “communications” from others and conflict because of his mixed-race heritage.
Smith said he placed a BB gun, intended to be used as a distraction, into his Lexus, and drove to a Long Beach area gun store, where he purchased the knife.
Smith, appearing unshaven and wearing a beige, jail-issued T-shirt and speaking by phone from a Plexiglass booth, cited a passage from the Gospel of Luke 22:36 as biblical justification for obtaining the knife. In the scripture, Jesus tells the 12 apostles that “he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one.” Smith said he also considered using a bow and arrow in the attack, but ultimately decided against it.
After purchasing the knife, Smith recounted that he began driving around and felt compelled to run over Mammone and stab him. “It was my right,” he said, rubbing his hand against his eyes while adding that he feels no remorse for the killing. “He was in the crosswalk and presented himself.”
Smith said he chose Mammone because he is a man, insisting he would not kill a woman. After the attack, Smith believed he would either be taken into custody or killed by police, preferring the latter.
He denied uttering racial slurs about “white privilege” at the crime scene, as some reports indicated, but did acknowledge vocally accusing a man who detained him of being “gay” because the man’s groin was nearly touching him.
Smith described the attack on Mammone as “minuscule” compared to the wave of murders from others that will be coming soon, claiming that Jesus recently killed thousands in the magnitude 7.8 earthquake that struck Turkey and Syria on Monday. He vowed not to kill again if released from jail.
Smith came to California after marrying his now former wife and U.S. citizen Marla Hart of Long Beach in 2008. He has worked as a janitor and most recently as the owner of a Long Beach tax preparation and accounting firm.
He said he doesn’t blame Hart for his current legal problems and described her as a “Jezebel,” but declined to elaborate.
In a phone interview Friday, Hart said she divorced Smith a decade ago, hasn’t spoken to him in years, and was shocked to learn of his arrest for Mammone’s slaying. “I found out like everyone else,” she said. “Something is clearly wrong with his mind.”
Hart, in a Dec. 14, 2022 petition filed in Los Angeles County Superior County seeking sole custody of her and Smith’s twin daughters, said she and the children fear for their safety.
Smith had been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and bipolar disorder after he was detained by Long Beach police for destroying property and attacking a friend in a violent mental health episode on Dec. 19, 2020.
In a summary of the incident, Long Beach police said officers responded to the 6400 block of Atlantic Avenue regarding a report of a violent, mentally ill person. A man inside a residence told police he was involved in an altercation with an acquaintance who had caused property damage.
The Long Beach Fire Department transported the man to a hospital, where he was placed on a “5150 hold,” which allows an adult experiencing a mental health crisis to be involuntarily detained for 72 hours.
Smith, meanwhile, said he has found peace after 10 days in jail, placing at bay some of his demons typically exacerbated by heavy drinking, marijuana use and consorting with prostitutes.
He said he hopes to eventually meet with Mammone’s family. “I didn’t want to cause anyone pain,” he said.