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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 his leasing automobile right into a fuel 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 here have been alerted to fleetingly ahead of the naive set arrived.

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

Nobody seemed to notice as Smith got away at pump No. 2 to refill the silver Camry with out-of-state dishes.

No body however a Texas state trooper who had been in search of simply such a vehicle.

With all the tank filled, Smith started to drive 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 walk out of their car.

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 in the complete great deal as being a Combes officer arrived to simply help.

The set ended up being seated and cuffed in patrol vehicles as police searched and towed the Camry. A pet together with them within the motor vehicle had been taken fully to a shelter given that two had been driven down towards the county jail.

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

Baltimore authorities now say the storyline had been a address for just what they allege could be the truth: that Keith, 52, and Valeria Smith, 28, conspired to kill 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 these are generally 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 had been 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 destination that when seemed that is quite likely he came across Jacquelyn.

After wire-tapping Keith and Valeria Smith?s cellular phones, peering in their Google search histories and outlining obvious inconsistencies inside 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 proof.

A dance to your altar

Keith and Jacquelyn Smith had been a not likely few.

Their back ground close to Baltimore had been checkered by three bank robberies, a mail-order-bride.biz sign in 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 twelfth grade and university, attaining her fantasy to become a electric engineer and settling in Maryland to boost two males who’re 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 tales, Keith had to function up the courage to ask her to dancing, as he would later tell mourners at her memorial service.

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

?i enjoy state we danced our solution to the altar, ? Keith stated in the solution.

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

?We trusted her. We trusted her judgment, ? said her older cousin, Yvonne Saab. ?She had been a smart 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 came across her first husband. The few had two sons together, and moved round the nationa nation ? also to Germany ? for their Army work. In each populous city, 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 oldest, Kendall Hood, graduated from Cheyney University of Pennsylvania and joined up with the U.S. Coast Guard. Her more youthful son, David, attended the University of Maryland Eastern Shore.

?She made certain that her men constantly had the very best, ? Saab stated.

Jacquelyn?s household describes a doting mom, always here to cheer on her kids at swim and track matches. She worked being an engineer that is electrical Huntington Ingalls Industries, where she had been a contractor 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 biological labs. She was proven to find methods to problems that are difficult her peers stated.

Keith Smith asked their sibling Vick Smith to “get rid of” Keith’s spouse, Jacquelyn Smith, and eventually 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 an individual mother, Keith had been completing six years in jail for robbery having a weapon that is deadly.

He had been the youngest of four young ones raised in public places housing in Baltimore with a mother that is single who worked being a parole and probation officer for the state.

Keith would later on inform authorities he invested 36 months within the U.S. Army, stationed in Germany, and ended up being honorably released. He worked being a motorist when it comes to U.S. Postal provider as well as for Federal Express.

His course toward a jail cell started in December 1999 after he destroyed his work with FedEx due to a lot of points on their driver?s permit, he later told Baltimore County authorities. In the time, he had been increasing their child alone together with recently found out he was HIV-positive, in accordance with court public records.

So the 34-year-old Woodlawn guy started to rob banks. The initial 2 times 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 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 on a protective purchase that a Woodlawn girl had required against Keith. He was required by the order to keep out of the woman?s house along with her work. Moreover it awarded custody of these son towards the girl, Michelle Parker.

In her own demand, Parker composed that Keith ended up being inflicting ?threats of violence? and injury that is?mental of son or daughter. ?

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

?He stated that I would personally never ever see him once again, ? Parker composed.

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

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

But Parker additionally penned that there was indeed no real abuse, 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 failed to react to an ask for remark.

2 months later, police say Keith burst into a bank when it comes to time that is third. But officers had been searching for a silver Nissan Maxima driven by the robber, an automobile 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 found $20,000 in profit their house taped in packages and saved in a bag that is black.


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