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Local News

BPD: Husband, stepdaughter killed woman in December, not panhandler

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Julius White
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(l-r) Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh, Acting Police Commissioner Michael Harrison, Baltimore City State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby

Baltimore City police say a woman who was killed while helping a panhandler was actually murdered in a staged attack by her husband and stepdaughter.  Mayor Catherine Pugh released a statement saying the family of Jacquelyn Smith was arrested for her death. 

“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.”

-Mayor Catherine E. Pugh

52-year old Keith Smith and his 28-year old Valerie of Baltimore, were caught Sunday morning by Texas officials near the Mexico border while trying to leave the country.  Police say a three-month investigation revealed they were responsible for the whole thing. 

Both were with Jacquelyn the night she was murdered. The initial story report to police was that she lowered her car's front passenger side window to give $10 to a young woman who appeared to be holding a swaddled infant and a cardboard sign reading: "Please help me feed my baby." It was then that a man supposedly approached the car and struggled to take her wallet. He then supposedly stabbed her and ran off along with the female panhandler.

Acting Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison, Mayor Catherine Pugh and Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby held a brief news conference Sunday announcing the arrests and charges of 1st degree murder against the suspects.