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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 automobile as a gasoline section 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 right right here was indeed alerted to soon ahead of the pair that is unsuspecting.

Mexico lay simply 20 mins ahead. They certainly were very nearly here. They simply required some fuel.

No body did actually 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.

Using 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 his 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 blond locks. She, too, lay face down regarding the lot being 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 with them when you look at the automobile had been taken fully to a shelter because the two were driven down towards the county prison.

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

Baltimore authorities now state the tale had been an 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 now been faced with first-degree murder and certainly will remain in the Texas prison until they’ve been gone back to Maryland on March 20.

“It simply amazes me personally, ” said Patrick Quill, the Combes police chief. “They drove what lengths 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 from 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 within their Google search records and outlining obvious inconsistencies inside their tales in regards to the evening Keith’s spouse Jacquelyn had been fatally stabbed, Baltimore Police charged the couple on an increasing stack of circumstantial proof.

A party into 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 12-year prison phrase and allegations of spoken threats toward an old 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 dream to become a electric engineer and settling in Maryland to improve two males 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 many how-we-met tales, Keith had working the courage up to ask her to dance, while he’d later inform 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.

Relatives worried concerning the rush that is romantic the altar, but figured Jacquelyn knew just exactly what she was doing — as always.

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

Jacquelyn was raised in Providence, R.I., where she went to a prestigious senior school. She later majored in engineering at vermont A&T State University, where she came across her very very first spouse. The couple had two sons together, and relocated across the nationa 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 the 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 made certain that her males constantly had the very best, ” Saab stated.

Jacquelyn’s family members defines a mother that is doting constantly there to cheer on her children at swim and track matches. She worked being a electric engineer for Huntington Ingalls Industries, where she had been a specialist for the 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 approaches to hard dilemmas, her peers stated.

Keith Smith asked their bro Vick Smith to “get rid of” Keith’s spouse, Jacquelyn Smith, and fundamentally blamed her death for a Baltimore panhandler, Baltimore police billing 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 having a lethal gun.

He had been the youngest of four kiddies 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 tell authorities he spent 3 years within the U.S. Army, stationed in Germany, and ended up being honorably released. He worked as being a driver for the U.S. Postal provider as well as for 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. During the time, he had been increasing their child alone together with 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. The initial twice he joined banking institutions using a ski mask and wielding a pellet weapon. He told everyone else to lie on the ground, jumped throughout 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.

Prior to 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. He was required by the order to remain far from the woman’s house along with her work. In addition it awarded custody of the son towards the girl, Michelle Parker.

In her own demand, Parker had written that Keith had been inflicting “threats of violence” and injury that is“mental of son or daughter. ”

Parker took the step after their son had invested the evening at Keith’s home and, she stated, he’dn’t provide her the kid.

“He stated him again, ” Parker wrote that I would never see.

Officials circulated these documents charges that are supporting Jacquelyn Smith’s spouse and stepdaughter within 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 possiblity to let me know which he will beat the hell away from me personally if we attempt to get him right back, ” she wrote. “Because this is just what I have for looking to get kid help. ”

But Parker also had written that there was no real punishment, simply spoken threats and psychological punishment.

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 failed to react to an ask for remark.

8 weeks later, police say Keith burst right into a bank for the 3rd time. But officers had been searching for a silver Nissan Maxima driven by the robber, an automobile they spotted times 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 kept in a bag that is black.