In this small truck-stop town into the Rio Grande Valley, Keith Smith steered their leasing automobile right into a fuel place to refuel. He along with his adult daughter had traveled 1,770 kilometers away from Maryland — attempting, police state, to outrun murder fees in Baltimore that authorities right right right here was indeed alerted to fleetingly ahead of the unsuspecting set arrived.
Mexico lay simply 20 moments ahead. These were nearly here. They simply required some gasoline.
Nobody did actually notice as Smith got away at pump number 2 to refill the silver Camry with out-of-state dishes.
No body but a Texas state trooper who had been searching for simply such a car or truck.
Aided by the tank filled, Smith begun to drive out from the section 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 putting on a bath limit over bleached hair that is blond. She, too, lay face down in the complete great deal as a Combes officer arrived to simply help.
The set ended up being cuffed and seated in patrol vehicles as police searched and towed the Camry. A pet using them when you look at the motor automobile ended up being taken fully to a shelter once the two had been driven down towards the county prison.
The arrests final week-end, captured on surveillance digital digital camera, represented an instant summary to a police manhunt that is hushed. The news shocked Maryland plus the country a lot more as compared to tale that is tragic daddy and daughter tearfully told in December about how precisely Smith’s spouse, Jacquelyn, was indeed stabbed to death through a car or truck screen after offering money up to a panhandler.
Baltimore authorities now state the storyline had been a cover for just what they allege may be the truth: that Keith, 52, and Valeria Smith, 28, conspired to destroy the 54-year-old engineer from Aberdeen. The 2 have now been faced with first-degree murder and can stay in the Texas prison until they truly are gone back to Maryland on March 20.
“It simply amazes me personally, ” said Patrick Quill, the Combes authorities chief. “They drove what lengths from Maryland? It had been really, really fortunate. ”
For Jacquelyn Smith along with her family members, the arrests only compound the ongoing tragedy regarding the gruesome last moments that police say were orchestrated by the person she had provided her life with for six years. Face down and cuffed regarding the Southern Texas pavement, Keith Smith attained a location that when seemed that is quite likely he came across Jacquelyn.
After wire-tapping Keith and Valeria Smith’s cellular phones, peering within their Google search records and outlining obvious inconsistencies inside their stories in regards to the evening Keith’s spouse Jacquelyn ended up being fatally stabbed, Baltimore Police charged the few on a growing stack of circumstantial proof.
A party to your altar
Keith and Jacquelyn Smith had been a not likely few.
Their history close to Baltimore ended up being 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 had been the shining celebrity of her Rhode Island household — excelling in highschool and university, attaining her fantasy to become a electric engineer and settling in Maryland to improve two males who will be successful teenage boys today.
Their paths crossed whenever Keith spotted Jacquelyn at a shared friend’s birthday celebration party Oct. 5, 2013. Like numerous how-we-met tales, Keith needed to work within the courage to ask her to dancing, as he’d later inform mourners at her memorial service.
90 days in the future xmas Eve he proposed and she stated yes. They married in 2014 july.
“i enjoy say we danced our option to the altar, ” Keith stated in the solution.
Relatives worried concerning the rush that is romantic the altar, but figured Jacquelyn knew just what she had been 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 was met by her very very first spouse. The couple had two sons together, and relocated across the nation — also to Germany — for their Army work. In each populous 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 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 men constantly had the greatest, ” Saab stated.
Jacquelyn’s family members defines a mother that is doting constantly here to cheer on her behalf young ones at swim and track satisfies. She worked as a electric engineer for Huntington Ingalls Industries, where she had been a specialist for the Department of Defense at Aderdeen Proving Ground. She centered on engineering analysis, and development and help of system designs for chemical and labs that are biological. She ended up being proven to find approaches 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 finally blamed her death on a Baltimore panhandler, Baltimore police recharging papers allege.
Bank robberies and prison
In the same way Jacquelyn ended up being beginning life as just one mother, Keith had been completing six years in prison for robbery with a weapon that is deadly.
He had been the youngest of four kiddies raised in public places housing in Baltimore by way of a mother that is single whom worked as a parole and probation officer for the state.
Keith would later on tell authorities he invested 36 months within the U.S. Army, stationed in Germany, and ended up being honorably released. He worked as a motorist when it comes to 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. During the time, he had been increasing their child alone along with recently learned he had been HIV-positive, relating to court public records.
So the 34-year-old Woodlawn guy began to rob banking institutions. The initial twice he entered banking institutions using a ski mask and wielding a pellet weapon. He told everyone else to lie on the ground, 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.
Ahead of the 3rd heist, Keith’s title surfaced in Baltimore County District Court for a issue that is domestic.
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 from the woman’s house and her work. Moreover it awarded custody of the son into the girl, Michelle Parker.
Inside her demand, Parker composed that Keith ended up being inflicting “threats of violence” and “mental damage of the son or daughter. ”
Parker took the action after their son had invested the evening at Keith’s household and, she stated, he’dn’t offer her the kid.
“He stated that I would personally never ever see him once again, ” Parker published.
Officials circulated these documents supporting costs against Jacquelyn Smith’s spouse and stepdaughter into the Harford County female’s December death.
She stated Keith had threatened to file a report that is false she had ignored the 2-year-old.
“Mr. Smith calls at each possiblity 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 youngster help. ”
But Parker additionally had written that there have been no real punishment, simply spoken threats and abuse that is mental.
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 time that is third. But officers had been searching for a silver Nissan Maxima driven by the robber, a car they spotted days later on in East Baltimore. A chase ensued, the Maxima crashed and Keith had been arrested during the scene what is mail order. Detectives stated they discovered $20,000 in profit his house taped in packages and kept in a black colored case.