A panhandler was accused of killing a woman – but her husband and daughter staged “brutal killing,” police say

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CBS Baltimore reports the husband and stepdaughter of Jacquelyn Smith have been arrested for her death, police said Sunday in a press conference.

Mayor Pugh released a statement Sunday saying the city and Baltimore Police Department have learned Jacquelyn Smith was killed by family members, in a “staged brutal killing.”

Her death drew headline nationwide and prompted some to regard panhandlers with caution. Even Oprah Winfrey, whose early career included several years covering Baltimore news, commented that she would “think twice” about giving to panhandlers after reading about the case, the Associated Press reported.

“Like everyone in our city, state and across this nation, we mourned the senseless killing of Jacquelyn Smith. To now learn that family members staged this brutal killing is beyond belief and represents a double tragedy. They were responsible for taking Jacquelyn’s life with unconscionable cruelty and contrived to do so in our city under the guise of random violence, exploiting the legitimate fears of our residents. I commend our homicide detectives for their expert and tireless work in bringing those truly responsible to justice in this very troubling and sad case.”

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