US

Court Postpones Trial For Suspect in Baltimore Panhandler Murder Scam

By Victor Westerkamp

Valeria Smith, a 28-year-old woman from Aberdeen, Maryland, witnessed her father Keith Smith, 52, kill her stepmother Jacquelyn Smith, 54. She pleads guilty to assisting him in covering up the murder in December last year.

Also, “Valeria Smith accompanied, aided and supported Keith Smith on his attempt to flee the country,” Assistant State’s Attorney Patrick Seidel told the judge, according to The Baltimore Sun.

Keith and Valeria Smith had blamed the gruesome deed on a panhandler.

Keith Smith was set to appear in court on Oct. 7, 2019, in Baltimore City Circuit Court, but, his trial has been postponed till January next year, CBS Local reported. He faces charges of murder and possession of a deadly weapon.

Keith Smith
Keith Smith shown in an undated photo by courtesy of the Baltimore Police Department (Baltimore Police Department)

Valeria’s initial charge of murder was dropped and changed into accessory after the fact in the act of murder. Prosecutors filed her plea under seal, which means that it is not clear whether prosecutors and the defendant came to an agreement on her sentence or whether she will have to testify against her father next year, the Baltimore Sun reported. She may face up to ten years in prison and will be sentenced on Jan. 29.

On March 3, 2019, The Epoch Times reported on the arrest of Keith and Valeria Smith after what appeared to be an attempted escape to Mexico.

Family Staged Baltimore Woman Jacquelyn Smith’s Killing by Alleged Panhandler

Keith Smith and Valeria Smith were arrested on March 3 in Harlingen, Texas, near the Mexico border, Acting Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison said and continued, ” … we have developed evidence that Mr. Smith was leaving Maryland, so we made appropriate national notifications, and the Texas State Police arrested him this morning (March 3, 2019).”

Baltimore police charge a man and his daughter in the killing of his wife, saying they staged the murder by blaming a panhandler >> https://bit.ly/2GYSgMx

تم النشر بواسطة ‏‎WBAL-TV 11 Baltimore‎‏ في الأحد، ٣ مارس ٢٠١٩

Reports in early December said that Jacquelyn was stabbed after giving money to a panhandler holding a baby. When she handed over some money, a man reached into her car, grabbed her wallet, thrust her, and ran away. She later died at a nearby hospital.

Jacquelyn’s brother Marcel Trisvan told the Baltimore Sun on March 3, “I already know it’s Keith.”

“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.”

Epoch Times reporter Jack Phillips contributed to this report