Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Family Members Arrested in Death of Woman They Said Was Fatally Stabbed by Panhandler

Jacquelyn Smith

*The husband and stepdaughter of Jacquelyn Smith, the woman who was fatally stabbed in East Baltimore last December — after her husband said she gave money to a panhandler — have been arrested in her death, according to published reports.

Police confirmed Sunday that Keith Smith, 52, and his daughter, Valeria Smith, 28, were arrested by Texas State authorities near the U.S.-Mexico border while trying to flee the country earlier Sunday.

The victim’s story drew national attention and spread fear through Baltimore after her husband said she gave money out of their car window to a panhandler who then stabbed her after reaching into the car and snatching her necklace and pocketbook. Even Oprah expressed reservations about giving money to panhandlers.

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But several members of Jacquelyn’s family never bought the official story.

“I already know its Keith,” said her brother Marcel Trisvan. “All the questioning has been specific to Keith. That kind of sums it right there,” he added. “It never made sense. I told (detectives) from the very beginning there are no suspects out there.”

Keith’s story of the family’s fatal encounter with a woman holding a baby while panhandling even raised suspicion among many of the neighbors.

“Everybody in the neighborhood said something’s wrong with it,” one neighbor told reporters. “I don’t know what happened. Nobody around here knew her.”

“This case, like all of these cases, certainly is a terrible tragedy. Jacquelyn Smith is an innocent victim so I hope you keep her in your thoughts and in your prayers,” said acting Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison.

He credited the arrest to “outstanding detective work involved from the beginning.”

Mayor Catherine Pugh criticized the killing and cover-up.

“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,” Pugh said in a statement Sunday. “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.”

 

 

Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is an entertainment reporter with over 15 years of experience working in the film industry in areas including production and post-production, marketing, distribution, and acquisitions. She has worked for legendary film producer Roger Corman, Quentin Tarantino's production team at Miramax, the late Larry Flynt, MTV/ VH1, Hallmark Channel, Paramount, Jim Henson Co., Parade Magazine, and various LA-based companies representing above-the-line talent.

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