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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 truck-stop that is little into hot brides the Rio Grande Valley, Keith Smith steered their leasing automobile as a fuel section to refuel. He and their adult daughter had traveled 1,770 kilometers far from Maryland — attempting, police state, to outrun murder charges in Baltimore that authorities right right here was indeed alerted to briefly prior to the pair that is unsuspecting.

Mexico lay simply 20 mins ahead. These were very nearly here. They simply needed some fuel.

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

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

Utilizing the tank filled, Smith started initially 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 their weapon and ordered Smith to come out of their automobile.

Smith emerged through the driver’s side, arms 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 on the great deal being a Combes officer arrived to assist.

The set had been cuffed and seated in patrol automobiles as police searched and towed the Camry. A cat using them when you look at the automobile ended up being taken fully to a shelter because the two had been driven down towards the county prison.

The arrests final weekend, captured on surveillance digital camera, represented an instant summary up to a police manhunt that is hushed. The news shocked Maryland while the country much more compared to tragic tale the dad and daughter tearfully told in December about how exactly Smith’s spouse, Jacquelyn, was indeed stabbed to death through a car or truck screen after offering cash up to a panhandler.

Baltimore authorities now state the storyline 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 already been faced with first-degree murder and can stay static in the Texas prison until they truly are gone back 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 extremely, 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 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 histories and outlining obvious inconsistencies inside their stories concerning the evening Keith’s spouse Jacquelyn had been fatally stabbed, Baltimore Police charged the couple for an evergrowing stack of circumstantial proof.

A party to your altar

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

Their history close to Baltimore had been 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 had been the shining celebrity of her Rhode Island household — excelling in senior school and college, attaining her fantasy to become an engineer that is electrical settling in Maryland to boost two men that are effective teenagers today.

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

90 days down the road Christmas time Eve he proposed and she said yes. They married in 2014 july.

“i enjoy say 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 just just what she had been doing — as always.

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

Jacquelyn spent my youth 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 came across her very very first spouse. The few had two sons together, and relocated round the country — 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 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 males constantly had the very best, ” Saab stated.

Jacquelyn’s household describes a doting mom, constantly there to cheer on her young ones at swim and track matches. 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 centered on engineering analysis, and development and help of system designs for chemical and labs that are biological. She had been recognized to find methods to hard dilemmas, her peers stated.

Keith Smith asked their sibling Vick Smith to “get rid of” Keith’s wife, Jacquelyn Smith, and finally blamed her death for a Baltimore panhandler, Baltimore police documents that are charging.

Bank robberies and jail

Just like Jacquelyn had been beginning life as just one mother, Keith had been finishing six years in jail for robbery by having a life-threatening gun.

He had been the youngest of four young ones raised in public places housing in Baltimore by way of a solitary mother, whom worked as being a parole and probation officer for the 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 a motorist when it comes to U.S. Postal provider as well as Federal Express.

Their course toward a prison cell started in December 1999 after he destroyed their task with FedEx due to a lot of points on their driver’s permit, he later told Baltimore County authorities. During the time, he had been increasing their child alone together with recently learned he was HIV-positive, based on court public records.

So the 34-year-old Woodlawn guy started to rob banking institutions. The initial 2 times he joined banks putting on a ski mask and wielding a pellet weapon. He told everybody to lie on to the floor, jumped throughout 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.

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

In-may 2000, a Baltimore County District Court judge signed down for a protective purchase that a Woodlawn girl had required against Keith. He was required by the order to remain out of the woman’s house along with her work. In addition it awarded custody of these son into the girl, Michelle Parker.

Inside her demand, Parker published that Keith ended up being inflicting “threats of violence” and injury that is“mental of youngster. ”

Parker took the action after their son had invested the evening at Keith’s home and, she stated, he’dn’t offer her the child.

“He stated that i might never see him again, ” Parker had written.

Officials released 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 false report that she had ignored the 2-year-old.

“Mr. Smith calls at each opportunity 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 get for looking to get son or daughter support. ”

But Parker additionally published that there was indeed no real punishment, simply spoken threats and abuse that is mental.

A county judge denied Parker’s request, composing: “Facts try not to 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 didn’t react to a ask for remark.

8 weeks later, police say Keith burst in to 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 ended up being arrested in the scene. Detectives stated they discovered $20,000 in profit their house taped in packages and kept in a black colored case.