Keith Smith is shown in an undated photo provided by the Police Department of Baltimore. On March 3, 2019 the Baltimore Smith, a truck driver who blamed his wife’s murder a case of love gone wrong was flown back to Maryland, the largest city on Wednesday, 20 March 2019, together with his daughter to be the face of a hitman in a case that drew international attention. (Baltimore Police via AP)
BALTIMORE – A man who has a lot of sympathy and a lot of media attention after maintaining that his wife was fatal in their car after giving money to a panhandler back to Baltimore, along with his daughter, asked Thursday to face an assassin.
Baltimore police said the 52-year-old Keith Smith and his 28-year-old daughter Valeria Smith, both of Baltimore, came from Texas shortly after midnight and were booked on first degree murder charges. Both were denied bail in hearings on Thursday.
The two suspects are charged in the death of the 54-year-old Jacquelyn Smith, an electrical engineer who was married to Keith Smith since 2014. She was fatal at the end of last year, and Keith Smith’s story of the love-gone-wrong generated headlines as people discussed the case on street corners, in offices and on social networking sites.
Keith Smith maintained his wife was knifed to death by a man after handing over $10 to be a female beggar who seemed to be with a baby on an evening in a gritty section of Baltimore. But the police says he came up with the story and went on the flight, authorities were closed. Smith and his daughter were arrested on 5 March in Texas, during what police portray as a desperate dash for Mexico.
Brandon Mead, Valeria Smith’s lawyer, said his client is innocent. He claims to be father and daughter just intended to spend a family vacation south of the border when they were arrested after stopping at a gas station in a Texas border town.
“Let’s be realistic: We would all love a vacation to Mexico. You know, you get a chance to go to Mexico, you say yes,” Co told WJZ-TV.
Keith Smith’s lawyer, Natalie Finegar, told reporters that she believes that the evidence cited in the Baltimore Police department’s statement of probable cause is problematic.
“We have not yet seen evidence of this yet and there are a lot of questionable forensics that are included in the statement of probable cause,” she claimed after her client was ordered held without bail.
Among other things, the charging documents in the case state that a friend told detectives Keith Smith had asked his brother “to get rid of Jacquelyn,” that the taking of that he wanted to kill her. Police believe Jacquelyn Smith was about the divorce of her husband, who was convicted 20 years ago for robbing the same Maryland bank three times. When Vick Smith was summoned to testify before a grand jury, police wrote that he warned his brother, who began the search for a way out of the country.
The police also says Keith Smith immediately moved to Florida after an interview with detectives where he was, told his daughter the phone she had actually driven in a wooded park on the night of the murder. His daughter was believed to be living with him in Florida for the couple was arrested earlier this month in a Texas border town.
When Jacquelyn Smith Dec. 1 death was initially reported, Keith Smith, told the police that he left his white Audi’s passenger side window late at night, so that his wife can give $10 to a young woman who seemed to be with a swaddled child and a sign: “help me feed my baby.” It was then that a man supposedly approached the car, asked if he could thank her, and then supposedly stabbed Jacquelyn Smith, while theft of her wallet. The alleged attacker walked into an alley, a female beggar, and Keith Smith told a TV crew that the beggar cried: “God bless you!”
After the death of his wife, Keith Smith gave a number of interviews with the media, sometimes with a tearful Valeria at his side. He urged the city to pass legislation to prohibit panhandling at city intersections, saying he wanted the law to be named after his deceased wife.
The authorities accuse the two suspects of the exploitation of the fears of the Baltimore chronically high rates of violence in an attempt to evade justice.