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Police: Husband, Daughter Killed Woman Whose Death They Blamed on Panhandler

Keith Smith and Valeria Smith are charged with murdering his wife and her mother, a murder they initially blamed on a panhandler.
Baltimore City Police
KATHERINE RODRIGUEZ

A Maryland woman whom authorities initially thought was killed by a Baltimore panhandler was actually killed by her husband and daughter, police said Sunday.

Police Commissioner Michael Harrison told reporters at a Sunday press conference that Jacquelyn Smith, 54, was not killed by a panhandler but by her husband, Keith Smith, 52, and her daughter, Valeria Smith, 28, the Associated Press reported.

Harrison added that authorities arrested Keith and Valeria near the U.S.-Mexico border in Harlingen, Texas, on Sunday morning as the two were preparing to flee the U.S.

Keith initially told the authorities his wife was stabbed and robbed by a panhandler on December 1 after attempting to give him money at a stop light.

“She was trying to help someone out,” Keith Smith told ABC News days after he claimed that a panhandler stabbed his wife in front of him and his daughter.

Harrison did not list a possible motive but announced that both Keith and Valeria would be charged with first-degree murder.

“We’re looking forward to this cruel act being brought to justice,” Baltimore Mayor Catherine E. Pugh said.

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