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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 small truck-stop town within the Rio Grande Valley, Keith Smith steered their leasing 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 fees in Baltimore that authorities right right here was alerted to fleetingly ahead of the naive set arrived.

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

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

No body however a Texas state trooper who had been searching for simply such a motor 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 out, pointed their weapon and ordered Smith to walk out of their car.

Smith emerged through the driver’s side, fingers raised. The trooper ordered him to down lie face. Out stepped Valeria Smith, barefoot and putting on a shower limit over bleached blond locks. She, too, lay face down in the complete great deal as a Combes officer arrived to aid.

The set ended up being cuffed and seated in patrol automobiles as police searched and towed the Camry. A cat using them into the automobile ended up being taken up to a shelter since the two had been driven down towards the county jail.

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

Baltimore police now state the storyline ended up being a 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 faced with first-degree murder and certainly will stay static in the Texas jail until they truly are gone back to Maryland on March 20.

“It just amazes me, ” 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 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 mobile phones, peering in their Google search histories and outlining obvious inconsistencies inside their tales in regards to the evening Keith’s spouse Jacquelyn had been fatally stabbed, Baltimore Police charged the few for a pile that is growing of 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 ended up being the shining celebrity of her Rhode Island household — excelling in twelfth grade and college, attaining her fantasy to become an engineer that mail order brides is electrical settling in Maryland to improve two males who will be 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 stories, Keith had working within 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 stated yes. They married in 2014 july.

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

Family worried concerning the rush that is romantic 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 ended up being a sensible person. ”

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 first spouse. The few had two sons together, and relocated round the nation — and also to Germany — for their 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 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 ensured that her men constantly had the greatest, ” Saab stated.

Jacquelyn’s family members defines a mother that is doting 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 ended up being 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 biological labs. She ended up being recognized to find answers to hard dilemmas, her peers stated.

Keith Smith asked their brother Vick Smith to “get rid of” Keith’s spouse, Jacquelyn Smith, and fundamentally blamed her death on a Baltimore panhandler, Baltimore police documents that are charging.

Bank robberies and jail

Just like Jacquelyn ended up being beginning life as an individual mother, Keith ended up being completing six years in jail for robbery by having a life-threatening tool.

He had been the youngest of four young ones raised in public places housing in Baltimore with a mother that is single whom worked being 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 being 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 work with FedEx due to way too many points on their driver’s permit, he later told Baltimore County authorities. In the time, he had been increasing his child alone along with recently learned he had been HIV-positive, relating to 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 everybody else to lie on to the floor, jumped on 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.

Ahead of the 3rd heist, Keith’s title surfaced in Baltimore County District Court for the domestic problem.

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

Inside her demand, Parker composed 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 house and, she stated, he’dn’t provide her the kid.

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

Officials circulated these documents charges that are supporting Jacquelyn Smith’s husband 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 every 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 exactly what I have for hoping to get kid help. ”

But Parker also published that there was in fact no physical punishment, simply spoken threats and abuse that is mental.

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 an ask for remark.

2 months later, police say Keith burst as a bank for the time that is third. But officers had been in search of a silver Nissan Maxima driven by the robber, a car they spotted days later 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 saved in a bag that is black.

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