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Husband, stepdaughter stage panhandling killing

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Baltimore residents are rocked again when Keith Smith, and his daughter, Valeria Smith, were charged for the murder of Keith’s wife, Jacquelyn Smith.

Father and daughter were stopped at the Texas-Mexico border. Authorities said that they were attempting to flee the country when a murder investigation turned to them as suspects.

The Smith’s received nationwide attention when the widower claimed that a beggar knifed his wife to death in a “good Samaritan” killing in December. Now law enforcement says that he and his daughter staged the killing.

Upon the arrest of the father and daughter, Baltimore’s Mayor Catherine Pugh released a statement:

“Like everyone in our city, state and across this nation, we mourned the senseless killing of Jacquelyn Smith. To now learn that family members staged this brutal killing is beyond belief and represents a double tragedy. 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. I commend our homicide detectives for their expert and tireless work in bringing those truly responsible to justice in this very troubling and sad case.”

According to the husband, he and his wife were on their way home from his daughter’s birthday party. While at a stop sign in Baltimore, the couple noticed a homeless woman holding a baby and a sign saying, “Please help me feed my baby.” Jacquelyn Smith, rolled down her window then gave $10 to the female panhandler when suddenly, the woman’s partner, a man, reached in to grab her wallet. After a quick tussle, the male beggar stabbed her in the torso. The husband said that the baby was fake.

Pugh called the murder “unconscionable” and interim police Commissioner Gary Tuggle described the incident as “a heinous murder.”

Before the husband was accused he even lobbied to get a Baltimore ordinance passed banning panhandling at intersections.

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