Daughter pleads guilty in death of stepmom blamed on panhandler

Posted: 8:37 AM, Sep 29, 2019
Updated: 2019-09-29 08:37:02-04

BALTIMORE  — A Baltimore woman has admitted to blaming her stepmother’s murder on a panhandler and helping her father try to escape to Mexico.

Jacquelyn Smith

News outlets report 28-year-old Valeria Smith pleaded guilty Thursday to acting as an accessory after the fact in the slaying of 54-year-old Jacquelyn Smith. Valeria Smith and her father, Keith Smith, had claimed Jacquelyn Smith was fatally stabbed in December by a man after handing $10 to a female panhandler who appeared to be holding a baby.

Police later determined the charity-gone-wrong story was a lie, and the surviving Smiths had gone on the run. Valeria Smith was initially charged with first-degree murder along with her father. Both were arrested in March in Texas during what police portrayed as a desperate dash to Mexico.