Maryland woman Valeria Smith, 31, was sentenced on Monday to five years in prison, just days after she testified to helping her father cover up the murder of her stepmother, according to The Baltimore Sun.
Jurors found her 55-year-old father Keith Smith guilty on Thursday of murdering his wife Jacquelyn Smith, 54. He stabbed the victim to death on Dec. 1, 2018, then got his daughter to help him make it seem as if panhandlers committed the crime, prosecutors said.
Smith read from her diary on the stand last Tuesday about her father and her rushing down towards Mexico in an attempt to flee the criminal case.
“Today is the craziest day of my life,” she wrote. “I am officially on the run,” she wrote in March 2019. “I feel so sad I won’t be able to see my children … This is so f—ed up … this is not the time to panic.”
They were arrested just 20 miles from the border.
Smith ended up pleading guilty to being an accessory after the fact, and she agreed to testify against her father.
DEVELOPING: a Baltimore City jury looks likely to begin deliberations today in the case of the Dec 2018 murder of 54 year old engineer and mother Jacquelyn Smith pic.twitter.com/goIDBmdAP2
— Kate Amara (@kateamaraWBAL) December 8, 2021
In the initial version of events, the family was driving from Valeria’s birthday party when Jacquelyn gave panhandlers a $10 bill through the window. It was claimed that the panhandlers grabbed Jacquelyn Smith’s necklace, stole her purse, and stabbed her multiple times. The purported suspects were a man in a blue hoodie (the actual stabber) and a woman in a brown coat and carrying a baby.
“Keith Smith violently stabbed his wife to death and then created an elaborate cover-up plan to cowardly blame panhandlers for his horrific attack,” State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby said in a statement. “His grief-stricken reports intentionally manipulated his own daughter as well as the hearts and minds of our country. But today, the public learns the truth and justice was served.”
For his part, Keith Smith played the mournful husband after the stabbing.
“All I did was slam it in park to go chase these people, but then when I seen how my wife was screaming, I came back because I could’ve caught one of them, but the police told me that wouldn’t have been wise to chase the suspect because you don’t know where you’re running to,” he told WMAR-2 in an interview.
Keith Smith’s sentencing is pending.
[Screenshot via WJZ]
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