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Prosecutors Drop Murder Case Against Valeria Smith, Add Accessory Charge In 'Panhandler' Killing

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Prosecutors have dropped the murder case against an East Baltimore woman accused of stabbing her stepmother to death.

Valeria Smith will now be charged with being an accessory, her defense attorney confirmed Monday.

She has been indicted in Baltimore Circuit Court on one charge of accessory after the crime.

Smith, 28, and her father, Keith Smith, 53, were captured just 20 minutes from the Mexican border in southern Texas — where prosecutors said the two were fleeing.


Police said on December 1, 2018, Keith and Valeria Smith stabbed Jacquelyn Smith — Keith's wife — in Baltimore and claimed a panhandler did it.

Judges previously had learned Valeria Smith suffers from bipolar disorder and heroin addiction.

Her father has a violent criminal past that includes armed bank robberies.

The story went national and brought in concerns about the homeless in Baltimore. Oprah Winfrey wrote online, "This story struck my heart. I've done this a 1K times. But will think twice before ever doing again,"

According to charging documents, the Smith's gave inconsistent timelines of the night of the murder, and cell phone data puts them in Druid Hill Park, far from the East Baltimore's block where they claimed Smith was stabbed.


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