NewsRegionHarford County


Jacquelyn Smith's church came to husband's aid

Now torn over whether he's a victim or a killer
Posted at 5:22 PM, Mar 04, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-05 10:09:18-05

CHURCHVILLE, Md. — A husband is charged with murder months after he told police it was a panhandler who had killed his wife Jacquelyn Smith.

Kieth Smith followed up his tale of how his wife died at the hands of a panhandler with a call to push homeless people off the streets. Afterall, Jacquelyn's husband claimed he was a man of faith.

"I'm a minister. I'm a man of God and I try to help people,” Smith told us two days after her murder, “We're in our last days and we need to understand there are some desperate people and they don't need help. They're trying to hurt you."

RELATED: Husband and stepdaughter charged in murder of Good Samaritan Jacquelyn Smith

Bishop Roger Tatuem of Helping Hands Ministries in Churchville helped comfort Smith and his daughter in their time of need.

"I was devastated, because there was no real indication of anything other than what he had conveyed to me and we had talked many times, and he had the same story," said Tatuem.

A story, which held up, even as Smith came to the bishop a few weeks ago to tell him his work was taking him to Florida.

Outside the Aberdeen home the Smith's shared, there are signs of a hasty departure, and the bishop says, in retrospect, something had been distancing the couple from the church in the months leading up to her murder.

"They had been absent from the church, participation here, for about seven months and so the only contact we had was telephone contact and the absence was due to some situations they were trying to get straight," said Tatuem.

It also seemed odd that the same man who had shared the bogus story of his wife's violent death with the media so freely a few days after the stabbing, then refused all interviews later that same week after the story drew national attention.

"His initial conversation to me was that it was recommended to him... I don't know if it was an attorney or some official person that said he should cut his communication with the media for right now," recalled Tatuem.

The bishop says Keith Smith recently sent him a picture, a selfie of him in front of a swimming pool with palm trees, claiming he had made the move to Florida. But now he's shocked after learning Smith and his daughter were captured in Texas.