Valeria Smith is prepared to testify during her stepmother’s murder trial this week, Law & Crime reported, admitting that she helped her father, Keith Smith, cover up the fatal stabbing of his wife, Jacquelyn Smith. The 55-year-old man reportedly blamed the vicious act on panhandlers before heading towards Mexico with his daughter.
Authorities believe that Jacquelyn, a 54-year-old engineer, had talked about divorcing her husband before her untimely death.
Woman Set to Testify She Helped Father Cover Up Him Murdering Her Stepmother and Blaming It on Panhandlers https://t.co/qzaDPCZ5uE
— Law & Crime (@lawcrimenews) December 5, 2021
According to the Baltimore Sun, after Jacquelyn’s murder in December 2018, Valeria pleaded guilty to being an accessory after-the-fact the following September. She revealed that she not only witnessed the murder but also aided Keith in fleeing to Mexico.
The daughter-father duo reportedly told others that Jacquelyn was handing cash to a female panhandler and her baby when a man emerged and stabbed her in a robbery attempt. But after combing through over two dozen surveillance cameras in the East Baltimore area, detectives could not verify the claim.
In September 2019, Valeria also reportedly admitted to discarding Jacquelyn’s purse and getting rid of the murder weapon in an attempt to cover up the crime. According to the Baltimore Sun, when asked by a circuit judge at the time if she was “pleading guilty because you are in fact guilty?”
“Yes,” she replied.
Smith pleaded guilty to being an accessory after the fact: giving false statements to police and the media and assisted in the coverup by tossing Jacquelyn Smith’s pocketbook, disposing of the murder weapon and assisting in Keith Smith’s attempted flee to Mexico @WMAR2News
— Brian Kuebler (@BrianKuebler_) September 26, 2019
Valeria, 31, was arrested in March 2019 along with her father at a Texas gas station, having traveled 20 miles short of Mexico.
Last week, Keith’s trial officially began in Baltimore, Maryland, starting with jury selection. According to CBS Baltimore, he is facing a first-degree murder charge for his alleged involvement in Jacquelyn’s fatal stabbing, with Valeria’s sentencing hearing reportedly scheduled for Dec. 13.