A tragic story that began with a husband claiming that a panhandler stabbed his wife is getting more and more complicated.
A Baltimore electrical engineer previously thought to have been stabbed to death in a random attack in December was actually killed by her husband, police alleged earlier this month. Now authorities say he even asked his brother to murder her.
Jacquelyn Smith, 54, was supposedly in a car with her husband Keith Smith and stepdaughter Valeria Smith, having just attended a family gathering, 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. Keith Smith, 52, 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 tried to steal Smith’s wallet before stabbing her in the chest. Keith Smith said the panhandler and man fled and they rushed her to a hospital where she died.
That story turned out to be a lie, police now say. Keith and Valeria Smith, 28, have since been charged with the Jacquelyn's murder. Details of how they allegedly killed her have not been revealed. But what has been exposed is the fact that Keith Smith allegedly tried to include another family member in the murder: his brother.
Charging documents obtained by The Baltimore Sun state that a friend told detectives Keith had asked his brother Vick Smith to kill his wife. The alleged murder preparations came after Jacquelyn began discussing getting divorced.
A detective spoke to one of Keith Smith’s close friends, Donnell Morgan who told the detective that Vick Smith told him his brother, Keith, had asked him to “get rid of Jacquelyn,” police wrote. Days later, Vick Smith told detectives his brother told him that Jacquelyn Smith “was talking about divorcing Keith.” After he left police headquarters, police wrote that Vick Smith called his brother, who said he didn’t want to talk “because you know everything got ears now.”
Nothing in the documents related to Keith and Valeria Smith indicates that Vick Smith helped with any alleged plot. He did not respond to phone messages.
Keith and his daughter reportedly moved from Maryland to Florida in February. They were arrested in Harlingen, Texas not far from the Mexican border earlier this month and have been charged with first-degree murder.
It’s not clear at this time if the Smiths have lawyers who can speak on their behalf.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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.