In this small truck-stop town in the Rio Grande Valley, Keith Smith steered their leasing automobile right into a gas 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 here have been alerted to fleetingly ahead of the naive set arrived.
Mexico lay simply 20 moments ahead. They certainly were nearly here. They simply required some fuel.
No body did actually notice as Smith got down at pump No. 2 to refill the silver Camry with out-of-state dishes.
Nobody but a Texas state trooper who was simply looking for simply such a vehicle.
Aided by the tank filled, Smith begun 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 their car.
Smith emerged through the driver’s side, fingers raised. The trooper ordered him to down lie face. Out stepped Valeria Smith, barefoot and using a bath cap over bleached blond locks. She, too, lay face down regarding the complete great deal as a Combes officer arrived to greatly help.
The set ended up being seated and cuffed in patrol vehicles as police searched and towed the Camry. A pet using them when you look at the vehicle ended up being taken up to a shelter due to the fact 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 additionally the country much more as compared to tragic tale the daddy and child tearfully told in December about how precisely Smith’s spouse, Jacquelyn, was indeed stabbed to death through a car or truck screen after providing cash up to a panhandler.
Baltimore authorities now state the storyline had been an address for just what they allege may be the truth: that Keith, 52, and Valeria Smith, 28, conspired to kill the 54-year-old engineer from Aberdeen. The two mail order brides have now been faced with first-degree murder and can stay static in the Texas prison until they have been came 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 extremely, 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 Southern Texas pavement, Keith Smith reached a location that when seemed ready — until he came across Jacquelyn.
After wire-tapping Keith and Valeria Smith’s mobile phones, peering in their Google search records 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 on a pile that is growing of proof.
A party to your altar
Keith and Jacquelyn Smith had been a couple that is unlikely.
Their history close to Baltimore ended up being 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 school and university, attaining her fantasy to become an engineer that is electrical settling in Maryland to improve two males that are effective teenage boys today.
Their paths crossed whenever Keith spotted Jacquelyn at a friend’s that is mutual celebration Oct. 5, 2013. Like numerous how-we-met tales, Keith had to work within the courage to ask her to dancing, as he’d later inform mourners at her memorial service.
90 days down the road Christmas time Eve he proposed and she stated yes. They married in July 2014.
“i enjoy state we danced our option to the altar, ” Keith stated during the service.
Family unit members worried concerning the intimate rush to the altar, but figured Jacquelyn knew exactly exactly what she ended up being doing — as always.
“We trusted her. We trusted her judgment, ” said her older sis, 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 vermont A&T State University, where she was met by her very first spouse. The few had two sons together, and relocated across the nation — and also to Germany — for their Army task. In each populous town, Jacquelyn worked being 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 earliest, 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 greatest, ” Saab stated.
Jacquelyn’s family members defines a mother that is doting constantly here to cheer on her children at swim and track suits. She worked as a electric engineer for 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 help of system designs for chemical and labs that are biological. She ended up being recognized to find methods to problems that are difficult her colleagues stated.
Keith Smith asked their sibling Vick Smith to “get rid of” Keith’s spouse, Jacquelyn Smith, and fundamentally blamed her death for a Baltimore panhandler, Baltimore police documents that are charging.
Bank robberies and jail
In the same way Jacquelyn was starting life as an individual mother, Keith ended up being completing six years in jail for robbery with a weapon that is deadly.
He had been the youngest of four young ones raised in public housing in Baltimore by a mother that is single who worked as a parole and probation officer when it comes to state.
Keith would later on inform authorities he invested 36 months in the U.S. Army, stationed in Germany, and had been honorably released. He worked as being 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 right time, he had been increasing their child alone and had 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 very first twice he joined banking institutions using a ski mask and wielding a pellet weapon. He told everybody 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 for a protective order that a Woodlawn girl had required against Keith. Your order needed him to keep far from the woman’s house and her work. In addition it awarded custody of these son towards the woman, Michelle Parker.
Inside her demand, Parker had written 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 child.
“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 into the Harford County female’s December death.
She stated Keith had threatened to file a false report that she had ignored the 2-year-old.
“Mr. Smith calls at each possiblity to tell me if i try to get him back, ” she wrote that he will beat the hell out of me. “Because this is just what I have for hoping to get kid help. ”
But Parker additionally wrote that there was no real punishment, simply verbal threats and abuse that is mental.
At a hearing in June 2000 on whether or not to result in the protective purchase permanent, a county judge denied Parker’s request, composing: “Facts usually do not help issuance of the domestic violence order. ”
Parker would not react to an ask for comment.
8 weeks later, police say Keith burst in to a bank when it comes to time that is third. But officers had been in search of 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 had been arrested at the scene. Detectives stated they discovered $20,000 in profit their house taped in packages and kept in a black case.