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Manteca Man To Face Murder Charges In Ripon Woman’s Disappearance

Stockton, CA — A San Joaquin County Superior Court Judge has determined that there is sufficient evidence to try a Manteca man on a charge of murder.

At a hearing yesterday the judge heard from several witnesses to determine whether there was probable cause to order 44-year-old Gerald Smith to stand trial for the abduction and murder of 46-year-old Mary Starkey of Ripon.

Smith also faces a charge of grand theft auto and a special circumstance of lying in wait. Smith could face the death penalty if convicted.

Among the witnesses who testified in yesterday´s hearing were the victim´s mother and a co-worker of the defendant.

The prosecution claims that Smith showed up at Starkey´s home last June to inquire about a boat for sale, lured her away and killed her.

Her body hasn´t been found. Smith is scheduled to be arraigned on the charges December 12th.