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

In this truck-stop that is little into the Rio Grande Valley, Keith Smith steered their rental vehicle into a gasoline section to refuel. He along with his adult daughter had traveled 1,770 kilometers far from Maryland — attempting, police state, to outrun murder costs in Baltimore that authorities right right here have been alerted to briefly prior to the naive set arrived.

Mexico lay simply 20 moments ahead. They certainly were very nearly here. They simply required some fuel.

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

No body but a Texas state trooper who had been looking for simply such a vehicle.

Because of the tank filled, Smith started initially to drive out from the place and toward the edge. But, lights flashing, the trooper pulled right up behind the Camry until it stopped. The officer got away, pointed their weapon and ordered Smith to come out of their car.

Smith emerged through the driver’s side, arms raised. The trooper ordered him to lie face down. Out stepped Valeria Smith, barefoot and using a bath limit over bleached hair that is blond. She, too, lay face down from the great deal being a Combes officer arrived to greatly help.

The set ended up being cuffed and seated in patrol automobiles as police searched and towed the Camry. A pet using them into the motor vehicle had been taken up to a shelter due to the fact two had been driven down towards the county prison.

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

Baltimore authorities click this now state the tale had been a cover for just what they allege may be the truth: that Keith, 52, and Valeria Smith, 28, conspired to destroy the 54-year-old engineer from Aberdeen. The 2 have now been faced with first-degree murder and can stay in the Texas prison until these are typically gone back to Maryland on March 20.

“It simply amazes me personally, ” said Patrick Quill, the Combes authorities chief. “They drove how long from Maryland? It had been extremely, extremely happy. ”

For Jacquelyn Smith and her family members, the arrests only compound the ongoing tragedy associated with the gruesome final moments that police say were orchestrated by the person she had provided her life with for six years. Face down and cuffed from the Southern Texas pavement, Keith Smith reached a destination that when seemed that is quite likely he came across Jacquelyn.

After wire-tapping Keith and Valeria Smith’s mobile phones, peering within their Google search histories and outlining obvious inconsistencies within their tales 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 into the altar

Keith and Jacquelyn Smith were a not likely couple.

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

Jacquelyn Smith ended up being the shining celebrity of her Rhode Island household — excelling in highschool and university, attaining her fantasy to become an engineer that is electrical settling in Maryland to boost two men who’re 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 the courage up to ask her to dancing, as he’d later inform mourners at her memorial service.

90 days in the future xmas Eve he proposed and she said yes. They married in 2014 july.

“i enjoy state we danced our method to the altar, ” Keith stated during the solution.

Family unit members worried concerning the intimate rush to the altar, but figured Jacquelyn knew exactly exactly just what she had been doing — as always.

“We trusted her. We trusted her judgment, ” said her older sibling, Yvonne Saab. “She ended up being a smart individual. ”

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

The couple later settled in Maryland, but divorced in 2005. She took ownership of the Aberdeen house in 2006 and proceeded to increase 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 made certain that her males constantly had the most effective, ” Saab stated.

Jacquelyn’s household defines a mother that is doting constantly here to cheer on her behalf young ones at swim and track matches. She worked being an engineer that is electrical Huntington Ingalls Industries, where she was a specialist when it comes to Department of Defense at Aderdeen Proving Ground. She dedicated to engineering analysis, and development and support of system designs for chemical and labs that are biological. She had been proven to find answers to problems that are difficult her peers stated.

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

Bank robberies and jail

In the same way Jacquelyn ended up being beginning life as just one mother, Keith had been completing six years in jail for robbery with a lethal tool.

He had been the youngest of four young ones raised in public places housing in Baltimore with a solitary mother, whom worked as a parole and probation officer when it comes to state.

Keith would later inform authorities he invested 36 months within the U.S. Army, stationed in Germany, and had been honorably released. He worked as a motorist when it comes to U.S. Postal provider as well as Federal Express.

Their course toward a jail cell started in December 1999 after he destroyed their task with FedEx as a result of way too many points on their driver’s permit, he later told Baltimore County authorities. During the time, he was increasing their child alone along with recently learned he was HIV-positive, in accordance with court public records.

So the Woodlawn that is 34-year-old man to rob banking institutions. The initial 2 times he joined banking institutions putting on a ski mask and wielding a pellet weapon. He told everyone else to lie on the ground, jumped within the counters and emptied the compartments of money, authorities reports state. He rushed out rear doorways and drove house 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 off for a protective order that a Woodlawn girl had required against Keith. He was required by the order to keep away from the woman’s house and her work. Moreover it awarded custody of these son towards the girl, Michelle Parker.

In her own demand, Parker composed that Keith ended up being inflicting “threats of violence” and injury that is“mental of son or daughter. ”

Parker took the action after their son had spent the night at Keith’s household and, she stated, he’dn’t provide her the kid.

“He stated 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 within 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 each opportunity to let me know which he will beat the hell away from me personally if we attempt to get him straight back, ” she wrote. “Because this is just what I have for looking to get youngster help. ”

But Parker additionally penned that there was in fact no real punishment, simply spoken threats and psychological abuse.

At a hearing in June 2000 on whether or not to result in the protective order everlasting, a county judge denied Parker’s request, composing: “Facts usually do not support issuance of the domestic violence order. ”

Parker failed to react to a request remark.

8 weeks later, police say Keith burst right into a bank when it comes to third time. But officers had been searching for a silver Nissan Maxima driven by the robber, a car they spotted times later on in East Baltimore. A chase ensued, the Maxima crashed and Keith had been arrested during the scene. Detectives stated they discovered $20,000 in profit their house taped in packages and saved in a black colored case.

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