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

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

In this truck-stop that is little within the Rio Grande Valley, Keith Smith steered their leasing vehicle right into a gasoline place to refuel. He along with his 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 indeed alerted to briefly prior to the naive set arrived.

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

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

Nobody however a Texas state trooper who was simply in search of simply such a vehicle.

Using the tank filled, Smith started 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 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 hair. She, too, lay face down from the lot being a Combes officer arrived to aid.

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

The arrests last week-end, captured on surveillance digital digital camera, represented an instant summary up to a police manhunt that is hushed. The news shocked Maryland together with country much more compared to the tale that is tragic daddy and child tearfully told in December on how Smith’s spouse, Jacquelyn, was stabbed to death through a motor vehicle screen after providing cash to a panhandler.

Baltimore authorities now state the tale was an address for just what they allege could be the truth: that Keith, 52, and Valeria Smith, 28, conspired to destroy the 54-year-old engineer from Aberdeen. The 2 have already been charged with first-degree murder and certainly will stay static in the Texas prison until they truly are came 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 absolutely was really, really 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 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 within 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 evidence.

A party into 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 jail that is 12-year 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 high school and university, attaining her fantasy to become an engineer that is electrical settling in Maryland to improve two men who will be effective teenage boys today.

Their paths crossed whenever Keith spotted Jacquelyn at a mutual friend’s birthday celebration Oct. 5, 2013. Like numerous how-we-met tales, Keith had to work 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 stated yes. They married in July 2014.

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

Members of the family worried concerning the intimate rush to the altar, but figured Jacquelyn knew exactly exactly just what she was doing — as always.

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

Jacquelyn spent my youth in Providence, R.I., where she attended a prestigious school that is high. She later majored in engineering at vermont A&T State University, where she came across her very very first spouse. The few had two sons together, and relocated across the nation — also to Germany — for his Army task. In each town, Jacquelyn worked as an engineer.

The couple later settled in Maryland, but divorced in 2005. She took ownership of these 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 made certain that her males constantly had the most effective, ” Saab stated.

Jacquelyn’s family members defines a doting mom, constantly there to cheer on her young ones at swim and track suits. She worked as an engineer that is electrical Huntington Ingalls Industries, where she ended up being a contractor for the 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 recognized to find approaches to hard issues, her peers stated.

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

Bank robberies and prison

In the same way Jacquelyn had been beginning life as an individual mom, Keith ended up being completing six years in jail for robbery with a weapon that is deadly.

He was the youngest of four young ones raised in public areas housing in Baltimore by way of a mother that is single whom worked as a parole and probation officer when it comes to state.

Keith would later on 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 for the U.S. Postal provider as well as for Federal Express.

Their course toward a jail cell started in December 1999 after he destroyed his task with FedEx as a result of a lot of points on their driver’s license, he later told Baltimore County authorities. During the time, he had been increasing their daughter alone and had recently discovered he had been HIV-positive, based on court public records.

So the Woodlawn that is 34-year-old man to rob banking institutions. Initial twice he joined banking institutions using a ski mask and wielding a pellet weapon. He told everybody 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.

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

In May 2000, a Baltimore County District Court judge finalized down for a protective purchase that a Woodlawn girl had required against Keith. He was required by the order to keep far from the woman’s home and her work. Additionally awarded custody of the son towards the girl, Michelle Parker.

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

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

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

Officials released these documents supporting costs against Jacquelyn Smith’s spouse and stepdaughter into 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 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 I have for looking to get youngster help. ”

But Parker also penned that there was in fact no real abuse, simply verbal threats and abuse that is mental.

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

Parker would not answer an ask for remark.

8 weeks later, police say Keith burst as a bank for the 3rd 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 his house taped in packages and kept in a black colored case.