Baltimore police have arrested the husband and stepdaughter of a Good Samaritan who was stabbed to death in East Baltimore in December. Keith Smith told police his wife Jacquelyn Smith was stabbed in the chest after she rolled down her car window to give money to 2 panhandlers.
Police announced the arrests during a news conference on Sunday evening. Keith Smith and his daughter Shavon Smith were arrested while trying to flee the country, according to Interim Police Commissioner Michael Harrison. They were both charged with first-degree murder.
Jacquelyn Smith, 54, an electrical engineer at Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland, was stabbed to death at the intersection of North Valley and East Chase streets about 12:30 a.m. on Dec, 1, police say.
Skeptics were immediately suspicious of Keith’s story – that 2 panhandlers – a man and a woman – used a “fake baby” to lure his wife to roll down the car window before robbing and killing her.
Keith Smith said he and his wife were leaving a birthday celebration for Shavon, when Jacquelyn Smith spotted a woman holding what appeared to be a baby and a homemade sign in the freezing rain. The sign read: “Please help me feed my baby,”
Smith said he hesitated to pull over, but his wife insisted she wanted to help the young mom.
“It was drizzling, it was cold, wet and my wife, like any normal person, felt sorry for the baby, which turned out not to even be a baby,” he told ABC News. “It must have been like a stuffed animal or something wrapped in a blanket. From where we were, it looked like a baby and we thought it was a baby.”
He said after his wife handed the woman a $10 bill, a man approached the car, produced a knife and stabbed Smith.
Here is where Keith’s story changed each time he repeated it to news outlets.
First he said the man snatched Smith’s purse, then he said the woman snatched her purse as the man stabbed his wife. But most bizarrely, Keith claimed that, as the man and woman fled, the woman paused long enough to tell him “God bless you.”
Keith and Jacquelyn were married for 5 years and they have six children and three grandchildren between them.
Smith’s death made headlines around the world. Television mogul Oprah Winfrey was moved to comment on the senseless murder.
Oprah, who is the richest woman in the world, said she would think twice before giving money to panhandlers after Smith’s death.
Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh issued a statement on Twitter.com:
“Like everyone in our city, state and across this nation, we mourned the senseless killing of Jacquelyn Smith. To now learn that fault members stated this brutal killing is beyond belief and represents a double tragedy.”
She added: “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.”