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

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 automobile right into a gasoline place to refuel. He and their adult daughter had traveled 1,770 kilometers far from Maryland — attempting, police state, to outrun murder costs in Baltimore that authorities here have been alerted to soon prior to the unsuspecting set arrived.

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

Nobody seemed to notice as Smith got down at pump # 2 to refill the silver Camry with out-of-state dishes.

No body but a Texas state trooper who was simply looking for simply such a car or truck.

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

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

The pair had been cuffed and seated in patrol vehicles as police searched and towed the Camry. A pet using them in the motor car had been taken up to a shelter while 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 hushed authorities manhunt. The news shocked Maryland in addition to country more as compared to tragic story the daddy and child tearfully told in December regarding how Smith’s wife, Jacquelyn, was stabbed to death through a motor vehicle window after giving cash to a panhandler.

Baltimore authorities now say the tale had been an address for just what they allege could be the truth: that Keith, 52, and Valeria Smith, 28, conspired to kill the engineer that is 54-year-old Aberdeen. The 2 have now been faced with first-degree murder and can stay static in the Texas jail until they have been returned to Maryland on March 20.

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

For Jacquelyn Smith along with her family members, the arrests only compound the ongoing tragedy of this gruesome last 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 attained a location that when seemed quite likely — until he came across Jacquelyn.

After wire-tapping Keith and Valeria Smith’s cellular phones, peering within their Google search records and maleorderbrides outlining obvious inconsistencies inside their tales in regards to the evening Keith’s spouse Jacquelyn ended up being fatally stabbed, Baltimore Police charged the few for a pile that is growing of proof.

A party towards the altar

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

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 a previous gf and their 2-year-old son.

Jacquelyn Smith ended up being the shining celebrity of her Rhode Island household — excelling in senior school and university, achieving her fantasy to become a electric engineer and settling in Maryland to improve two men that are effective teenage boys today.

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

3 months down the road 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 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 spent my youth in Providence, R.I., where she went to a prestigious senior high school. She later majored in engineering at vermont A&T State University, where she was met by her very very first spouse. The few had two sons together, and relocated across the nationa country — and also to Germany — for their Army work. In each town, Jacquelyn worked as an engineer.

The couple later settled in Maryland, but divorced in 2005. She took ownership of these Aberdeen home in 2006 and continued 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 males constantly had the greatest, ” Saab said.

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

Keith Smith asked their sibling Vick Smith to “get rid of” Keith’s spouse, Jacquelyn Smith, and fundamentally blamed her death for a Baltimore panhandler, Baltimore police charging 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 by a solitary mom, whom worked as a parole and probation officer for the state.

Keith would later on inform authorities he invested 36 months within the U.S. Army, stationed in Germany, and had been honorably released. He worked as a motorist for the 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 had been increasing his child alone together with recently learned he had been HIV-positive, in accordance with court public records.

So the Woodlawn that is 34-year-old man to rob banking institutions. The very first twice 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 compartments of money, authorities reports state. He hurried out rear doorways and drove house to Woodlawn. Those first couple of robberies — one in.

Prior to 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 signed down for an order that is protective a Woodlawn girl had required against Keith. He was required by the order to remain far from the woman’s house and her work. It awarded custody of the son into the woman, Michelle Parker.

In her own demand, Parker penned that Keith had been inflicting “threats of violence” and injury that is“mental of youngster. ”

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

“He stated that i might never ever see him once more, ” Parker composed.

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

She stated Keith had threatened to register a false report that 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 just what we have for hoping to get youngster help. ”

But Parker additionally had written that there was in fact no real punishment, simply spoken threats and psychological 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 order permanent”

Parker failed to react to an ask for remark.

8 weeks later, police say Keith burst into a bank for the 3rd time. But officers had been in search of 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 ended up being arrested during the scene. Detectives stated they discovered $20,000 in profit their home taped in bundles and kept in a bag that is black.