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