Court date looms for suspect in North County shooting

A San Miguel man accused of trying to kill a pregnant Paso Robles woman earlier this month is scheduled to be back in court on Dec. 10.

Steven Smith, 26, pleaded not guilty to two counts of attempted murder and one count of first-degree burglary. He is expected to be back in court for a pre-preliminary hearing.

Such hearings allow the prosecution and defense to confirm the case is ready for a preliminary hearing, to postpone a case or to change a plea. The preliminary hearing is to see if there’s enough evidence to go to trial.

Smith is being held in County Jail in lieu of $1 million bail.

Just before midnight Nov. 6, officers found the 34-year-old woman in her Paso Robles home conscious after being shot several times. Her 15-year-old daughter had called 911. Police are not disclosing the woman’s name because she is believed to be a victim of domestic violence.

Five consecutive shots were heard from the woman’s house that night, police said, and three struck the woman. Bullets hit her forehead, chin and hand.

The shot to the forehead didn’t pierce the skull, police said, and it appears the shot to the hand might have resulted from the woman shielding herself.

Police said the woman and baby are expected to survive. They were taken to Twin Cities Community Hospital in Templeton, but officials there declined to give further updates on their condition or disclose whether her child has been born.

Smith has been suspended from his role as a volunteer assistant football coach at Paso Robles High School, where he had passed a criminal background check about five years ago.