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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 when you look at the Rio Grande Valley, Keith Smith steered their leasing car as a gasoline 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 right right here was indeed alerted to fleetingly ahead of the naive set arrived.

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

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

No body but a Texas state trooper who was simply in search of simply such an automobile.

Because of the tank filled, Smith begun to drive from the section and toward the border. 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 his automobile.

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

The set ended up being cuffed and seated in patrol automobiles as police searched and towed the Camry. A pet using them within the vehicle had been taken fully to a shelter because the two had been driven off 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 and also the country much more compared to tragic story the dad and child tearfully told in December about how precisely Smith’s spouse, Jacquelyn, was indeed stabbed to death through a vehicle screen after offering cash to a panhandler.

Baltimore authorities now say the storyline ended up being an address for just what they allege could be the truth: that Keith, 52, and Valeria Smith, 28, conspired to destroy the engineer that is 54-year-old Aberdeen. The two have already 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 how long from Maryland? It absolutely was really, extremely happy. ”

For Jacquelyn Smith along with her family members, the arrests only compound the ongoing tragedy associated with 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 reached 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 records and outlining obvious inconsistencies within their tales concerning 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 towards the 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 jail that is 12-year and allegations of spoken threats toward an old 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, attaining her fantasy to become an engineer that is electrical settling in Maryland to boost two guys that are successful 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 had to function within the courage to ask her to dancing, while he’d later tell mourners at her memorial service.

3 months down the road Christmas time Eve he proposed and she stated yes. They married in July 2014.

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

Household members worried concerning the intimate rush to the altar, but figured Jacquelyn knew exactly just what she ended up being doing — as always.

“We trusted her. We trusted her judgment, ” said her older sibling, Yvonne Saab. “She ended up being a sensible 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 met her very very very first husband. The few had two sons together, and relocated across the nation — also to Germany — for their Army job. 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 more youthful son, David, went to the University of Maryland Eastern Shore.

“She ensured that her men constantly had the most effective, ” Saab said.

Jacquelyn’s household defines a mother that is doting constantly here to cheer on her children at swim and track satisfies. She worked as 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 biological labs. She had been proven to find answers to hard dilemmas, her colleagues said.

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

Bank robberies and jail

Just like Jacquelyn had been beginning life as an individual mother, Keith had been completing six years in jail for robbery with a lethal tool.

He had been the youngest of four kids raised in public places housing in Baltimore by way of a mother that is single whom worked being a parole and probation officer for the state.

Keith would later on tell authorities he spent 36 months when you look at 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 Federal Express.

Their course toward a jail cell started in December 1999 he later told Baltimore County police after he lost his job with FedEx because of too many points on his driver’s license. In the right time, he had been increasing their child alone together 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 banks using a ski mask and wielding a pellet weapon. He told everybody else to lie on the ground, jumped on the counters and emptied the compartments of money, authorities reports state. He rushed out rear doors 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 for an order that is protective a Woodlawn girl had required against Keith. The order needed him to remain far from the woman’s house along with her work. Additionally awarded custody of these son to your girl, Michelle Parker.

Inside her demand, Parker penned that Keith ended up being inflicting “threats of violence” and “mental damage of the youngster. ”

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

“He stated that I would personally never ever see him once again, ” Parker penned.

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

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

“Mr. Smith calls at every opportunity to let me know which he will beat the hell away from me personally if we attempt to get him straight back, ” she wrote. “Because this is exactly what I have for looking to get youngster help. ”

But Parker additionally composed that there was in fact no real punishment, simply spoken threats and psychological punishment.

A county judge denied Parker’s request, composing: “Facts usually do not 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 would not react to an ask for remark.

2 months later, police say Keith burst right into a bank for the 3rd time. But officers were in search of a silver Nissan Maxima driven by the robber, an automobile they spotted days later in East Baltimore. A chase ensued, the Maxima crashed and Keith ended up being arrested during the scene. Detectives said they discovered $20,000 in profit their house taped in packages and kept in a black colored case.