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Husband accused of fabricating wife's murder used to be bank robber

Posted at 10:51 PM, Mar 04, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-05 17:56:28-05

BALTIMORE (WMAR) — A man who was charged with murdering his wife, and fabricating the story of how she was killed by a panhandler, used to be a bank robber.

RELATED: Father, daughter held without bail in Texas on charges in murder of Jacquelyn Smith

On Sunday morning, Keith Tyrone Smith and his daughter, Valeria Smith were arrested in Texas near the Mexican border for the murder of his wife, Jacquelyn Smith.

Jacquelyn Smith was reportedly killed in East Baltimore in December 2018. Days after her murder, Keith and Valeria Smith told Baltimore Police that Jacquelyn had been stabbed to death by a panhandler, who she had given money to.

Nineteen years earlier, Keith Smith had confessed to robbing the First Union Bank in Timonium on three separate occasions between December 1999 and August 2000.

Smith's robbery spree came to an end on September 1, 2000, when Baltimore County Police spotted a gold Maxima that fit the description of the wanted vehicle involved in a bank robbery four days before.

The driver, who was later identified as Keith Smith, led police on a car chase throughout the city when he crashed into a Baltimore City Police cruiser at the intersection of Ashburton Street and Edmondson Avenue in West Baltimore.

Later that day, Smith admitted to committing the bank robberies and went into great detail on how and why he did it.

According to Baltimore County Police reports, Smith told police he had recently found out that he was HIV positive, and that he lost his job at FedEx after racking up too many points on his driving record. He told police that he was a single parent and needed money to pay overdue bills.

Smith also told police he robbed the bank the same way each time. He would enter the bank wearing a ski mask, armed with a pellet gun, and ordered everyone inside to lay on the ground as he jumped over the teller counter and stole money from the drawers.

He also told detectives, the reason he chose to rob First Union Bank, was because it was close to I-83. Smith told police he had thrown the mask and gun out the window near I-83 following the last robbery, but officers never found either item.

Police say Smith robbed a total of $38,605 from the bank.

Officers later serving a search warrant on Smith's home were able to recover $20,239 bundled together in a black bag, that was reportedly used in the third robbery. Police also found outfits that Smith wore during the two other robberies. Detectives were able to connect some of the money to the bank with matching stamps and serial numbers.

Smith was found guilty of the robberies and was sentenced to 12 years in prison.