A man accused of fatally shooting a Sacramento County animal control officer in Galt late last year will have to stand trial on special-circumstance charges that he murdered a public official who was in the course of his duties.
Sacramento Superior Court Judge Michael A. Savage on Friday set a July 9 trial date for Joseph Francis Corey, 66, in the Nov. 28 killing of Roy Marcum, 45, at the defendant's home in the 600 block of First Street in Galt.
Deputy District Attorney Hilary Bagley Franzoia argued that Corey loaded up a high-powered hunting rifle with "big-game ammo" that killed Marcum while the officer went to the house to round up animals left behind after a bank had foreclosed on the property.
Forced out of the house the day before, Corey doubled back and broke in and was inside the cluttered residence with a loaded shotgun and a rifle as well as numerous handguns, according to the prosecution.
"We're lucky only one person was killed," Franzoia told Savage, noting that Marcum had two other people with him when Corey fired through the door and killed the officer.
Defense attorney Jennifer Mouzis described Corey as "a person who was recently evicted and who had come back for his dogs." She said the shooting was "a reaction to the belief his house was being broken into."
Mouzis also said there was "no evidence Mr. Corey knew he was shooting at an animal control officer."
Savage disagreed, saying from the bench, "It appears what the defendant had in mind when he fired the shot through the door was clear."
At Corey's preliminary hearing, district attorney's investigator Mike Sullivan said he interviewed Marcum's mom, who paid a jail visit to the man who killed her son.
Sullivan said Charlotte Marcum told him Corey told her in their talk, "He thought the victim was an officer and he wanted to kill an officer." She quoted Corey as telling her directly, "I saw he was wearing a uniform from the upstairs, and I wanted to kill an officer," according to Sullivan's testimony.
Derrick Metzger, an Elk Grove police hostage negotiator, said that during the 17-hour hostage standoff at Corey's house after the shooting, the defendant made a reference to there being officers at his door and said, "I could have got one of them."
Call The Bee's Andy Furillo, (916) 321-1141. Follow him on Twitter @andyfurillo.