BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- Valeria Smith, the daughter of the man accused of blaming his wife's 2018 murder on a panhandler, took the stand on Tuesday and testified her father Keith stabbed and killed Jacquelyn Smith.
Keith Smith is charged with first-degree murder in the killing of his wife Jacquelyn, an engineer at Aberdeen Proving Ground.
Valeria Smith testified that on the night of the murder, she was supposed to be celebrating a belated birthday with her dad and stepmom, Jacquelyn Smith. But she said after they left their venue that night, there was a detour. According to Valeria Smith her dad, who was driving, took them to Druid Hill Park. Valeria Smith testified in court that's where Keith Smith stabbed his wife, who may have been asleep in the front seat.
Valeria testified that "the car slowed down," she then told the court that "my father stabbed his wife. "
She testified that after the stabbing, her father "was calm," but then when he called 911 to report the stabbing, his demeanor changed.
Valeria said her dad then dumped the murder weapon - a knife - in the woods, and when he came back to the car he told her to lie and say it was a panhandler who stabbed and killed his wife.
Valeria Smith testified that a day or two after the murder, her father went to his wife's job to get papers for the life insurance.
One of the detectives who testified last week was so convinced that Keith Smith killed his wife that he told the insurance company to hold off on paying out that policy.
Valeria described her stepmom as "a nice woman, she was always nice to me", Valeria told the court.
Keith smith's attorney said Valeria had a bigger role in the murder than she's leading on, and during cross-examination, she grilled Valeria on why it took her months to come forward and tell the truth.
Valeria Smith pleaded guilty to a lesser charge and the defense attorney implied that she turned on her dad because she didn't want to spend the rest of her life in prison.
On Tuesday, jurors also heard from an FBI agent who testified cell phone and Google data placed Keith and Valeria Smith in Druid Hill Park on the night his wife was killed.
Two hours later, their phones were in East Baltimore, where Keith Smith told authorities his wife had been attacked.
A Texas state trooper also traveled to Baltimore to testify. The trooper told jurors Keith and Valeria Smith were apprehended about 25 minutes away from Mexico border.
On Monday, prosecutors played video of the defendant being interrogated.
Before Valeria Smith and her father were arrested near the U.S. - Mexico border, Valeria Smith bought a journal at a store in Baltimore, and she read excerpts from the journal in court.
"Today has got to be the craziest day of my life. I am officially on the run", she read out loud in court. Valeria Smith who has two children lamented the fact that she would not see her children or other loved ones again. She referenced at the time she thought her life was over.
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