Several months after a Baltimore woman was allegedly killed while giving money to a panhandler in an attack that shocked the community, her husband and daughter were arrested in connection with her death. Police said that the panhandler story was totally made up.
Keith Smith and his daughter, Valeria Smith, were arrested in the slaying of Jacquelyn Smith, WBAL reported.
Both are being charged with first-degree murder, officials said.
Baltimore police charge a man and his daughter in the killing of his wife, saying they staged the murder by blaming a panhandler >> https://bit.ly/2GYSgMx
Keith Smith and Valeria Smith were arrested on March 3 in Harlingen, Texas, near the Mexico border, Acting Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison said.
Reports in early December said that Jacquelyn was stabbed after giving money to a panhandler holding a baby. When she handed over some money, a man reached into her car, grabbed her wallet, stabbed her, and ran away. She later died at a nearby hospital.
But “the information and the evidence points to it was not a panhandler,” Harrison said. “People took advantage of Baltimore.”
BREAKING: The husband and stepdaughter of a woman who was allegedly stabbed to death by a panhandler in Baltimore last…
“In this particular case, oftentimes we have these negative depictions about our city, and it’s rather unfortunate when people take advantage of these negative perceptions,” Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby told WBAL.
Harrison didn’t elaborate on a motive in the killing.
“During the course of our investigation, we have developed evidence that Mr. Smith was leaving Maryland, so we made appropriate national notifications, and the Texas State Police arrested him this morning (Sunday),” Harrison said.
Unbelievable follow up to a story from a few months ago.
A husband and step daughter have been arrested for the death of a woman in Baltimore…. months after they claimed she was stabbed to death by a panhandler. https://t.co/BXx3ZlnlpU
— Devin Bartolotta (@WJZDevin) March 4, 2019
“All of our investigators for both Keith and Valeria Smith, outlining the evidence in this case to a judge, who reviewed and signed the warrants for first-degree murder,” he added.
On March 3, the Baltimore mayor’s office released a statement, saying it was “senseless.”
“Like everyone in our city, state and across this nation, we mourned the senseless killing of Jacquelyn Smith. To now learn that family members staged this brutal killing is beyond belief and represents a double tragedy,” the office wrote.
It added: “They were responsible for taking Jacquelyn’s life with unconscionable cruelty and contrived to do so in our city under the guise of random violence, exploiting the legitimate fears of our residents. I commend our homicide detectives for their expert and tireless work in bringing those truly responsible to justice in this very troubling and sad case.”
Keith Smith, during a news conference, claimed she was stabbed on Dec. 1 at 12:30 a.m.
“Snatched her necklace, and before I knew it, the girl snatched the little pocketbook from the seat and they both ran,” Keith said, CBS Baltimore reported. “I jumped out the car to run, but I heard my wife screaming, so I came back to the car.”
Jacquelyn Smith's husband said she was stabbed while rolling down their car window to give money to a panhandler. Now he and his daughter have been charged in Smith's death.
Valeria Smith also spoke at the news conference following her mother’s death.
Her brother Marcel Trisvan told the Baltimore Sun on March 3, “I already know it’s Keith.”
“All the questioning has been specific to Keith. That kind of sums it right there,” he added. “It never made sense. I told [detectives] from the very beginning there are no suspects out there.”
Other details about the case were not provided.