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Monday, March 4, 2019

Baltimore Woman Thought to Have Been Killed By a Panhandler Was Actually Killed By Her Family

Jacquelyn Smith

Jacquelyn Smith

Baltimore, MD — Jacquelyn Smith, a 54-year old woman from Baltimore who was initially claimed to have been killed by a panhandler last year, was actually killed by her family members, according to local police. Her husband and stepdaughter have been recently arrested on murder charges in connection with her death.

Acting Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison said Keith Smith, who is 52-years old, and Valeria Smith, who is 28-years old, were arrested Sunday morning in Harlingen, Texas, near the Mexico border. They have been charged with first-degree murder.

“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. “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.”

Harrison did not discuss a motive, saying “that’s for a trial.” But he confirmed that the evidence support that it was not really a panhandler who killed Jacquelyn.

Moreover, state officials expressed disappointment over people exploiting the stereotype that Baltimore is a crime-ridden city.

“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 said.

Both Keith and Valeria Smith claimed that it was a panhandler who killed Jacquelyn on the night of December 1, 2018. They said that when Jacquelyn gave money to a woman, another man reached into the car, grabbed her wallet and stabbed her to death.

The incident has caught nationwide attention warning people to be more cautious in dealing with panhandlers.

“To now learn that family members staged this brutal killing is beyond belief and represents a double tragedy,” Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh said in a statement. “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.”

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