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

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

In this small truck-stop town within the Rio Grande Valley, Keith Smith steered their leasing vehicle right into a gas place 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 here have been alerted to fleetingly prior to the pair that is unsuspecting.

Mexico lay simply 20 minutes ahead. These people were nearly here. They simply required some fuel.

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

No body however a Texas state trooper who had been in search of simply such a motor vehicle.

Because of 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 come out of his automobile.

Smith emerged through the driver’s side, fingers 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 in the great deal as a Combes officer arrived to greatly help.

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

The arrests final week-end, captured on surveillance digital digital camera, represented an instant summary up to a hushed authorities manhunt. The news shocked Maryland and also the country much more compared to the tragic story the daddy and daughter tearfully told in December about how precisely Smith’s spouse, Jacquelyn, was indeed stabbed to death through a motor vehicle screen after providing cash to a panhandler.

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

“It simply amazes me, ” said Patrick Quill, the Combes authorities chief. “They drove what lengths from Maryland? It absolutely was really, extremely fortunate. ”

The arrests only compound the ongoing tragedy of the gruesome final moments 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 regarding the Southern Texas pavement, Keith Smith reached a location 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 records and outlining apparent inconsistencies within their tales concerning the evening Keith’s spouse Jacquelyn had been fatally stabbed, Baltimore Police charged the couple on a growing stack of circumstantial proof.

A dance towards the altar

Keith and Jacquelyn Smith had been a couple that is unlikely.

Their history close to Baltimore ended up being checkered by three bank robberies, a jail that is 12-year and allegations of spoken threats toward a former girlfriend and their 2-year-old son.

Jacquelyn Smith ended up being the shining celebrity of her Rhode Island family — excelling in senior school and university, attaining her fantasy to become a electric engineer and settling in Maryland to improve two boys who’re successful teenage boys today.

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

90 days in the future Christmas time Eve he proposed and she said yes. They married in July 2014.

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

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

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

Jacquelyn spent my youth 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 came across her very very first husband. The few had two sons together, and relocated across the nation — and also to Germany — for their Army work. In each populous town, Jacquelyn worked being an engineer.

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

“She ensured that her men always had the most effective, ” Saab stated.

Jacquelyn’s household defines a mother that is doting constantly here to cheer on her behalf children at swim and track satisfies. She worked being a electric engineer for Huntington Ingalls Industries, where she had been a specialist when it comes to Department of Defense at Aderdeen Proving Ground. She focused on engineering analysis, and development and help of system designs for chemical and biological labs. She ended up being recognized to find answers to difficult dilemmas, her peers stated.

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

Bank robberies and jail

In the same way Jacquelyn had been beginning life as just one mom, Keith ended up being 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 by way of a solitary mom, whom worked being a parole and probation officer when it comes to state.

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

Their course toward a jail cell began in December 1999 after he destroyed their work with FedEx as a result of a lot of points on their driver’s permit, he later told Baltimore County authorities. At the 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 everyone else to lie on the ground, jumped on the counters and emptied the drawers 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 name surfaced in Baltimore County District Court for a domestic problem.

In-may 2000, a Baltimore County District Court judge finalized down on an order that is protective a Woodlawn woman had required against Keith. Your order needed him to remain out of the woman’s house and her work. In addition it awarded custody of the son into the girl, Michelle Parker.

In her own demand, Parker published that Keith had been inflicting “threats of violence” and injury that is“mental of son or daughter. ”

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

“He stated him again, ” Parker wrote that I would never see.

Officials circulated these documents supporting charges against Jacquelyn Smith’s spouse and stepdaughter within the Harford County female’s December death.

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

“Mr. Smith calls at every possiblity to let me know if i try to get him back, ” she wrote that he will beat the hell out of me. “Because this is exactly what I have for looking to get youngster help. ”

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

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

Parker would not react to a request for remark.

8 weeks later, police say Keith burst in to a bank when it comes to time that is third. But officers had been looking for a silver Nissan Maxima driven by the robber, an automobile 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 money in their house taped in packages and kept in a bag that is black.

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