Accountant’s ex-wife was ‘horrified’ to discover he ‘mowed down and stabbed doctor to death’
The ex-wife of the man accused of running down and then stabbing a bicycling doctor to death has denied claims she was ‘living in fear’ of her ex-husband.
Marla Annette Hart said she and Vanroy Evan Smith, 39, did not have a violent relationship, despite her father telling The New York Post they did. She said she was ‘horrified’ to hear her ex-husband had allegedly killed Dr. Michael Mammone, 58, in the incident on the Pacific Coast Highway last week.
Speaking to The Post herself, Hart also pushed back on claims police made a wellness check to her residence before the killing, and said they only visited her afterwards.
She also said reports the killing was racially motivated didn’t make sense, because she said her ex-husband was more than half-white.
Prosecutors allege Smith drove through a red light around 3pm and hit Mammone. He then got out of his white Lexus and walked over to the doctor, drew a knife and stabbed him to death.
Hart is pictured with her twin daughters. Their father, Vanroy Evan Smith, is charged with murder
Vanroy Smith, left, has been charged with murder after Dr Michael Mammone, right, was knocked off his bike on Wednesday and killed
On Friday, Hart’s father said she ‘was concerned for her own safety’ over her ex-husband’s behavior.
But a day later, Hart categorically denied those claims, and said she and Smith had remained close despite divorcing ten years ago.
‘There was never any physical violence, never any domestic violence, when we were together,’ she told The Post. ‘We divorced because we were incompatible.’
‘I feel completely horrified by the entire thing, horrified it was Vanroy, and horrified it was that man who died,’ she said. ‘It makes no sense what happened. This was the death of an innocent man. I mourn for the victim’s family, myself and my kids.’
Her father had also claimed she and Smith were in the midst of an acrimonious custody battle for their twin girls, but Hart said that was also untrue.
On the contrary, she said they were on such good terms they would sometimes vacation together as a family.
‘There was no bitter custody battle,’ she said. ‘He always paid his child support. I was only changing custody because I was scared he was going to move.’
Smith appeared in court shackled to several deputies and only spoke to confirm his name and date of birth
Marla Annette Hart, who separated from Vanroy Evan Smith a decade ago, recently called police to her home amid an altercation with Smith, her father said
Smith was said to be holding a BB gun when he approached Mammone after the collision, and was screaming racial slurs about ‘white privilege,’ according to ABC7.
Hart said a racial motivation made little sense.
‘His biological father is white. He actually did a DNA test and found out he was more white than black. He comes from Jamaica,’ she said.
‘He’s never been about race and racial privilege. The whole thing is shocking when I hear he stabbed him.’
She said she had ‘no idea’ what might have motivated the attack.
‘I haven’t spoken to him in over a month, so honestly, what has been going on with him leading up to that, I have no idea.’
Aerial footage shows where the white Lexus careered into the cyclist and remained parked up a few hundred yards away
Shocking video shows the moment Smith, a trained accountant, careered into the cyclist, with police claiming that the pair were complete strangers
Hart’s father backtracked his comments when told his daughter’s side of the story, according to The Post.
‘There’s been a lot going on, like a whirlwind,’ he said.
‘She just mentioned that he was getting erratic. She never said anything like he was threatening her life. I would say she was fearful for herself and children. I can’t say at what level.’
Smith, an accountant from Long Beach, was restrained by passersby until sheriffs arrived and arrested him at the scene of the crime.
Harrowing footage showed the moment he blasted through a red light at an intersection, striking Mammone and sending him flying through the air.
Smith appeared in court on Friday and was charged with murder. He remains in custody at the Intake Release Centre in Orange County.
‘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 Todd Spitzer, district attorney for Orange County.
‘The murder of a complete stranger in broad daylight for what appears to be absolutely no reason is the stuff of nightmares.’
On Facebook, Smith wrote about being mixed race, and posted lengthy musings about ethnicity and religion.
‘I was born of black and white, then had the lucky chance of growing the first 12 years with my black family, and the following 6 with white,’ he wrote.
‘I am mixed, and I find races petty.’
Smith railed against the ‘grudges, malice, separation, hate’ he felt were directed at people for their race, noting: ‘It really holds you back.’
Hart was concerned about Smith’s behavior before Wednesday’s incident, her father said
The white car Smith was driving when he flew through a red light and struck Mammone
He continued, in a screed ripe with spelling mistakes: ‘Why can’t we see that all this is tempory? We all wither and die.
‘Are you born with an appearance people call ugly or deformed? It’s ok, you will build character then go somewhere else, where I believe there will be no such limitations, if you go to the right place.
‘Likewise, are you considered beautiful or nicely shaped? Be thankful, not prideful. Did you make yourself, and how long will you be like that, does that time even appear on a scale of eternity?’
In another post, in October 2020, Smith wrote: ‘Current thought: Black VS Dark & White VS Light.’
He mused about the significance given to the colors white and black, and said it impacted people’s attitudes.
‘By appearance and established standards, I am called a black man,’ he wrote.
‘Does that mean I deny and reject half of my ancestry. How do we tell someone to filter things like that from their blood?
‘All in all, we really need to change our way of thinking.
Mammone (in pink shirt) leaves behind his wife Julie, a nurse in the same hospital (pictured in leopard-print dress), and two sons, Nick and Jon
Mammone lived in Dana Point (pictured) in California with his wife and two sons
Mammone worked as an ER physician at Providence Mission Hospital in Laguna Beach, since 2011 and graduated from the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California in 1993.
He also occasionally worked out of Mission Viejo and the Children’s Hospital of Orange County in Santa Ana.
The hospital said in a statement: ‘We are stunned by this devastating tragedy. The entire Mission Hospital family is grieving over the loss of an incredible physician and friend.
‘We will honor Dr. Mammone’s dedication to our community and passion for medicine by continuing to provide exceptional care.’
He left behind his wife Julie, a nurse in the same hospital, and two sons, Nick and Jon.
Cardiologist Dawn Aatwal said: ‘That’s the irony of this whole thing. If a patient was brought in his condition, he would have done everything he could to save that person.
She added: ‘He has saved so many lives here, and he died very close to where he saved hundreds of lives.’