Wife Who Apparently Shot Bell Gardens Mayor In Self-Defense Charged After All
Lyvette Crespo has been charged with voluntary manslaughter several months after she shot and killed her husband, Bell Gardens Mayor Daniel Crespo. Lyvette Crespo, 43, pleaded not guilty today to a Grand Jury indictment charging her with one count of voluntary manslaughter, according to a release form the L.A. County District Attorney's Office. Her bail has been set at $150,000.
Crespo shot her husband three times in the chest on the afternoon of September 30, 2014 at their Bell Gardens apartment. At the time of the shooting, police said that the couple got into an argument during which their 19-year-old son intervened. Crespo killed her husband with a handgun after he allegedly punched the son in the face. The son was later treated for facial injuries, and said that his mother had shot his father to save him. In the 9-1-1 call the son made after the shooting, he says it wasn't his mothers fault and "she was defending herself." Crepso was released after several hours of questioning.
Soon after, sources close to Crespo said that the mayor had abused his wife throughout the course of their 28-year marriage, and had also abused their son for the at least the last four years. Crespo's lawyer, Eber Bayona, said her client was a victim of domestic violence and battered woman's syndrome.
According to the L.A. County Coroner's report, Crespo's daughter also said that her father had physically and verbally abused his wife for several years, sometimes dragging her by the hair so that she would sleep in the same room as him, the Long Beach Press Telegram reports. She also said that her parents had been arguing over an affair her father had, and that his mistress had been calling the home. She alleged that her father threatened to kill his family if his wife ever reported him.
However, the late mayor's family has a different version of the couple's domestic life and has filed a civil suit that alleges that Crespo premeditated the shooting "with malice and in cold blood" because she was jealous of his affair, KTLA reports. The mayor's mother, Otilia Santos, has accused Crespo of picking a fight and waiting for their son to intervene. She is suing for $53 million in damages.
William Crespo, Daniel Crespo's brother, previously said that his brother never abused his son and that his brother had once told him that his wife kept him up at night arguing with him about money.
Crespo next appears in court on May 29. If convicted, she faces up to 21 years.