In December 2018, a Baltimore man who claimed that a panhandler killed his wife during an alleged robbery has been handed down a life sentence for the murder.
According to CBS Baltimore, 55-year-old Keith Smart was sentenced to life in prison for killing his wife, Jacquelyn Smith in 2018. He initially stated his wife was fatally stabbed by the hands of a panhandler. Smart was also sentenced to three years for a deadly weapon with intent to injure.
Keith Smith sentenced to life for the murder of his wife.
Below is our story from when he was convicted in December.
— Avajoye Burnett (@AvajoyeWJZ) February 28, 2022
Jacquelyn’s sister, Yzonne Saab was pleased with the outcome of the case.
“This didn’t bring her back but we were elated and feel that definitely justice was served,” Saab said. “And as I said on the record, the judge was very poignant and to the point. You could tell that she really reviewed this case thoroughly and made a decision that made us very happy.”
In December 2021, Smith’s daughter, Valeria Smith, 31 admitted to assisting her father in covering up the killing of her stepmother on Dec. 1, 2018, and blaming it on panhandlers. According to Law & Crime, Valeria pleaded guilty in 2019 to being an accessory after the fact.
According to authorities, Keith Smith told police officers that he was driving home in Baltimore with Jacquelyn and Valeria after celebrating the latter’s birthday. He said Jacquelyn gave some panhandlers $10 through the car window, but then they snatched her necklace, took her purse, and stabbed her multiple times. Keith told police the suspects were a man in a blue hoodie, who allegedly stabbed Jacquelyn and a woman in a brown coat who was carrying a baby.
Police officer Sgt. Daniel Santos testified in Valeria’s case that police officers couldn’t find the crime scene of the alleged robbery although they returned to the exact intersection where Keith Smith said it happened. They did not find any evidence that the robbery occurred or either of the panhandlers.
Valeria said she helped her father try to cover up the murder by throwing away Jacquelyn’s purse at a bus stop.
Keith and Valeria were arrested just 20 minutes from the Mexico border.
- After the verdict was delivered earlier this week, Baltimore State Attorney Marilyn Mosby stated, “Keith Smith will now justly serve a life sentence in prison for violently stabbing his wife to death and then creating an elaborate cover-up plan to cowardly blame panhandlers for his horrific attack. Today, the public can rest assured that justice was served in a case that manipulated the hearts and minds of our country.”