In this truck-stop that is little within the Rio Grande Valley, Keith Smith steered their rental automobile in to a gasoline section 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 have been alerted to fleetingly ahead of the naive set arrived.
Mexico lay simply 20 mins ahead. These people were almost here. They simply required some gasoline.
Nobody seemed to 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 in search of simply such a car or truck.
Because of the tank filled, Smith started to drive out from the place find-bride 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 their car.
Smith emerged through the driver’s side, fingers raised. The trooper ordered him to lie face down. Out stepped Valeria Smith, barefoot and using a shower limit over bleached hair that is blond. She, too, lay face down from the great deal as being a Combes officer arrived to aid.
The set had been cuffed and seated in patrol automobiles as police searched and towed the Camry. A pet using them into the automobile ended up being taken up to a shelter because the two had been driven down towards the county jail.
The arrests final week-end, captured on surveillance camera, represented an instant summary to a hushed authorities manhunt. The news shocked Maryland together with country more compared to tragic tale the dad and child tearfully told in December on how Smith’s spouse, Jacquelyn, have been stabbed to death through a vehicle screen after providing cash up to a panhandler.
Baltimore authorities now state the storyline had been an address for just what they allege could be the truth: that Keith, 52, and Valeria Smith, 28, conspired to destroy the 54-year-old engineer from Aberdeen. The two have now been charged with first-degree murder and certainly will stay in the Texas prison until these are typically gone back 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 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 regarding the South Texas pavement, Keith Smith reached a destination that when seemed ready — until he came across Jacquelyn.
After wire-tapping Keith and Valeria Smith’s cellular phones, peering within 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 growing heap of circumstantial evidence.
A party towards the altar
Keith and Jacquelyn Smith had been a couple that is unlikely.
His 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 ended up being the shining celebrity of her Rhode Island household — excelling in senior high school and university, achieving her fantasy to become a electric engineer and settling in Maryland to boost two guys who will be effective teenagers 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 the courage up to ask her to dancing, as 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 2014 july.
“i enjoy state we danced our option to the altar, ” Keith stated at the solution.
Members of the family 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 ended up being a smart individual. ”
Jacquelyn spent my youth in Providence, R.I., where she attended a prestigious senior school. She later majored in engineering at new york A&T State University, where she was met by her very very first spouse. The few had two sons together, and relocated round the nationa nation — also to Germany — for their Army work. In each populous town, Jacquelyn worked being an engineer.
The couple later settled in Maryland, but divorced in 2005. She took ownership of the Aberdeen house in 2006 and proceeded to boost 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 household defines a doting mom, constantly here to cheer on her young ones at swim and track suits. She worked being 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 support of system designs for chemical and labs that are biological. She had been recognized to find answers to problems that are difficult her peers stated.
Keith Smith asked their bro 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
In the same way Jacquelyn ended up being beginning life as just one mom, Keith ended up being completing six years in jail for robbery with a life-threatening tool.
He had been the youngest of four kiddies raised in public places housing in Baltimore by a mother that is single whom worked as a parole and probation officer when it comes to state.
Keith would later on inform authorities he invested 3 years into 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.
Their course toward a jail cell started in December 1999 after he lost his task with FedEx as a result of a lot of points on their driver’s permit, he later told Baltimore County authorities. In the right time, he had been increasing their child alone and had recently learned he had been HIV-positive, in accordance with court public records.
So the 34-year-old Woodlawn guy started to rob banking institutions. The very first 2 times he joined banking institutions using a ski mask and wielding a pellet weapon. He told everybody 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.
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 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. It awarded custody of these son into the girl, Michelle Parker.
In her own demand, Parker had written 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 invested the evening at Keith’s home and, she stated, he’dn’t provide her the child.
“He stated that i’d never ever see him once more, ” Parker had written.
Officials circulated these documents charges that are supporting Jacquelyn Smith’s husband and stepdaughter within the Harford County female’s December death.
She stated Keith had threatened to register a false report that she had ignored the 2-year-old.
“Mr. Smith calls at every possiblity to let me know he will beat the hell away from me personally if we attempt to get him right back, ” she wrote. “Because this is exactly what I have for hoping to get son or daughter help. ”
But Parker also published that there was in fact no real punishment, simply verbal threats and psychological punishment.
A county judge denied Parker’s request, composing: “Facts usually do not support issuance of a domestic physical violence purchase. At a hearing in June 2000 on whether or not to result in the protective purchase permanent”
Parker didn’t 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 times later on in East Baltimore. A chase ensued, the Maxima crashed and Keith was arrested during the scene. Detectives said they discovered $20,000 in money in their house taped in packages and saved in a black case.