A Baltimore woman previously thought to have been stabbed to death by a panhandler in December was actually killed by her husband, police now claim.
Jacquelyn Smith, 52, was in a car with her husband and step-daughter, after having just attended a family gathering late last year when she rolled down her car window to give money to a woman holding what appeared to be an infant and a cardboard sign that read, “Please help me feed my baby,” KUTV in Baltimore previously reported. Her husband, Keith Smith, told investigators that another man who was working with that panhandler then ran up to the car pretending to thank Smith for her generosity but instead he tried to steal Smith’s wallet before stabbing her in the chest. Smith’s husband and another relative said the panhandler and man fled and they rushed her to a hospital where she died.
Keith Smith had vowed for justice for Jacquelyn and made public, emotional speeches.
"I don't want to beat myself up, but I feel somewhat responsible for letting that person get that close to my wife," Keith Smith told ABC News. "It's just a lot right now going through my mind. That's why it's hard for me to sleep because now I'm trying to see how I could have did things differently, how I could have took another street. I'm just thinking of all kind of ways that my wife would still be here."
Now, he’s a suspect in her killing along with his daughter, who also gave interviews about her step-mother’s killing after her death.
“We now know that that was not true,” Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison said at a press conference on Sunday referencing their story that Jacquelyn was attacked after giving money to a panhandler.
Smith and his daughter, 28-year-old Valeria Smith, were arrested in Harlingen, Texas not far from the Mexican border and have been charged with first-degree murder.
“Jacquelyn Smith was an innocent victim so I hope you will keep her in your thoughts and in your prayers,” he stated.
Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh said during that press conference that the father and daughter "took advantage of a situation — a city that is already dealing with its own problems. We are looking forward to this cruel act being brought to justice.”
A possible motive has not yet been released.
It’s not clear at this time if the Smiths have lawyers who can speak on their behalf at this time.
Crime Time is your destination for true crime stories from around the world, breaking crime news, and information about Oxygen's original true crime shows and documentaries. Sign up for our Crime Time Newsletter and subscribe to our true crime podcast Martinis & Murder for all the best true crime content.