A wedding, a stabbing, an arrest near Mexico: Manhunt contributes to capture of husband in Baltimore ‘panhandler’ killing

A wedding, a stabbing, an arrest near Mexico: Manhunt contributes to capture of husband in Baltimore ‘panhandler’ killing

In this truck-stop that is little into the Rio Grande Valley, Keith Smith steered their rental automobile as a gasoline place to refuel. He and their adult daughter had traveled 1,770 miles far from Maryland — attempting, police state, to outrun murder fees in Baltimore that authorities right right here was alerted to briefly prior to the naive set arrived.

Mexico lay just 20 moments ahead. These were nearly here. They simply required some gasoline.

No body seemed to notice as Smith got down at pump number 2 to refill the silver Camry with out-of-state dishes.

No body but a Texas state trooper who had been in search of simply such a car or truck.

Aided by the tank filled, Smith begun to drive out from the section and toward the edge. But, lights blinking, the trooper pulled right up behind the Camry until it stopped. The officer got away, pointed their weapon and ordered Smith to walk out of their car.

Smith emerged through the driver’s side, fingers raised. The trooper ordered him to down lie face. Out stepped Valeria Smith, barefoot and using a bath limit over bleached blond locks. She, too, lay face down regarding the great deal as being a Combes officer arrived to simply help.

The set had been seated and cuffed in patrol vehicles as police searched and towed the Camry. A pet together with them in the automobile had been taken up to a shelter whilst the two had been driven down towards the county prison.

The arrests final week-end, captured on surveillance digital camera, represented an instant summary to a police manhunt that is hushed. The news shocked Maryland as well as the country much more compared to the tragic story the father and child tearfully told in December on how Smith’s spouse, Jacquelyn, was indeed stabbed to death through a motor vehicle screen after offering cash to a panhandler.

Baltimore authorities now state the tale had been a address for just what they allege could be the truth: that Keith, 52, and Valeria Smith, 28, conspired to destroy the engineer that is 54-year-old Aberdeen. The 2 have already been faced with first-degree murder and can stay static in the Texas prison until they truly are came back to Maryland on March 20.

“It just amazes me, ” said Patrick Quill, the Combes authorities chief. “They drove what lengths from Maryland? It had been really, extremely happy. ”

The arrests only compound the ongoing tragedy of the gruesome final moments find a bride that police say were orchestrated by the man she had shared her life with for six years for Jacquelyn Smith and her family. Face down and cuffed from the South Texas pavement, Keith Smith attained a location that when seemed ready — until he came across Jacquelyn.

After wire-tapping Keith and Valeria Smith’s cellular phones, peering within their Google search records and outlining obvious inconsistencies inside their stories in regards to the evening Keith’s spouse Jacquelyn ended up being fatally stabbed, Baltimore Police charged the few on an evergrowing heap of circumstantial proof.

A party to your altar

Keith and Jacquelyn Smith had been a not likely couple.

Their back ground close to Baltimore ended up being checkered by three bank robberies, a 12-year prison phrase and allegations of spoken threats toward an old girlfriend and their 2-year-old son.

Jacquelyn Smith had been the shining celebrity of her Rhode Island household — excelling in senior school and university, attaining her fantasy to become an engineer that is electrical settling in Maryland to improve two guys that are effective teenagers today.

Their paths crossed whenever Keith spotted Jacquelyn at a friend’s that is mutual celebration Oct. 5, 2013. Like numerous how-we-met tales, Keith had working up the courage to ask her to dancing, while he’d later inform mourners at her memorial service.

3 months down the road Christmas time Eve he proposed and she stated yes. They married in 2014 july.

“I like to state we danced our option to the altar, ” Keith stated in the solution.

Household members worried concerning the rush that is romantic the altar, but figured Jacquelyn knew just exactly what she had been doing — as always.

“We trusted her. We trusted her judgment, ” said her older sibling, Yvonne Saab. “She had been a smart individual. ”

Jacquelyn was raised in Providence, R.I., where she went to a prestigious senior school. She later majored in engineering at new york A&T State University, where she was met by her very very very first spouse. The few had two sons together, and relocated round the nationa nation — also to Germany — for their Army task. In each town, Jacquelyn worked being an engineer.

The couple later settled in Maryland, but divorced in 2005. She took ownership of the Aberdeen house in 2006 and proceeded to boost her two sons. The earliest, Kendall Hood, graduated from Cheyney University of Pennsylvania and joined up with the U.S. Coast Guard. Her more youthful son, David, went to the University of Maryland Eastern Shore.

“She ensured that her men constantly had the greatest, ” Saab stated.

Jacquelyn’s family members defines a doting mom, constantly here to cheer on her children at swim and track matches. She worked as an engineer that is electrical Huntington Ingalls Industries, where she had been a specialist for the Department of Defense at Aderdeen Proving Ground. She centered on engineering analysis, and development and help of system designs for chemical and biological labs. She had been proven to find methods to problems that are difficult her peers said.

Keith Smith asked their sibling Vick Smith to “get rid of” Keith’s spouse, Jacquelyn Smith, and eventually blamed her death for a Baltimore panhandler, Baltimore police recharging papers allege.

Bank robberies and jail

Just like Jacquelyn had been beginning life as an individual mom, Keith ended up being completing six years in jail for robbery having a lethal tool.

He had been the youngest of four young ones raised in public places housing in Baltimore by a solitary mother, whom worked being a parole and probation officer for the state.

Keith would later inform authorities he spent 3 years into the U.S. Army, stationed in Germany, and was honorably released. He worked as being a motorist when it comes to U.S. Postal provider as well as Federal Express.

Their course toward a jail cell began in December 1999 he later told Baltimore County police after he lost his job with FedEx because of too many points on his driver’s license. In the right time, he had been increasing their child alone along with recently discovered he had been HIV-positive, in accordance with court public records.

So the 34-year-old Woodlawn guy started to rob banking institutions. The initial 2 times he joined banking institutions using a ski mask and wielding a pellet weapon. He told every person to lie on the ground, jumped within the counters and emptied the drawers of cash, authorities reports state. He rushed out rear doorways and drove home to Woodlawn. Those first couple of robberies — one in.

Ahead of the 3rd heist, Keith’s title surfaced in Baltimore County District Court for a issue that is domestic.

In-may 2000, a Baltimore County District Court judge finalized down for a protective order that a Woodlawn girl had required against Keith. Your order needed him to keep from the woman’s house along with her work. Additionally awarded custody of the son into the girl, Michelle Parker.

Inside her request, Parker penned that Keith had been inflicting “threats of violence” and “mental damage of a youngster. ”

Parker took the step after their son had invested the evening at Keith’s home and, she stated, he wouldn’t offer her the kid.

“He said that I would personally never ever see him once again, ” Parker composed.

Officials circulated these documents charges that are supporting Jacquelyn Smith’s spouse and stepdaughter when you look at the Harford County female’s December death.

She stated Keith had threatened to register a report that is false she had ignored the 2-year-old.

“Mr. Smith calls at every opportunity to let me know which he will beat the hell away from me if we make an effort to get him straight back, ” she wrote. “Because this is just what we have for hoping to get son or daughter help. ”

But Parker additionally published that there have been no real punishment, simply spoken threats and mental punishment.

A county judge denied Parker’s request, composing: “Facts don’t help issuance of the domestic physical violence purchase. At a hearing in June 2000 on whether or not to result in the protective purchase permanent”

Parker would not react to an ask for remark.

Two months later, police say Keith burst right into a bank for the 3rd time. But officers had been looking for a silver Nissan Maxima driven by the robber, an automobile they spotted days later in East Baltimore. A chase ensued, the Maxima crashed and Keith ended up being arrested during the scene. Detectives stated they discovered $20,000 in profit their house taped in packages and saved in a bag that is black.

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