Esposa del Difunto Ex Alcalde de Bell Gardens Puesta en Libertad

March 2, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

La esposa del ex alcalde de Bell Gardens, Daniel Crespo, ha sido liberada después de haber cumplido menos de seis semanas en la cárcel del condado por dispararle en el pecho, confirmaron las autoridades el martes.

Lyvette Crespo, de 45 años, fue liberada de la cárcel a las 10:02 de la mañana del lunes, según el Departamento del Sheriff del Condado de Los Ángeles.

Crespo fue detenida el 20 de enero para comenzar a cumplir una condena de tres meses de cárcel en el condado, a raíz de la muerte de su esposo, Daniel, el 30 de septiembre de 2014.

Ella ya había cumplido dos días del término antes de que se impusiera la sentencia.

A pesar de la objeción del hermano de la víctima, la jueza Kathleen Kennedy de la Corte Superior de Los Ángeles aprobó el mes pasado un acuerdo negociado entre los fiscales y Lyvette Crespo. El acuerdo también especifica que la acusada complete 500 horas de servicio comunitario y termine un curso de manejo de ira de un año .

Lyvette Crespo, left, was indicted of voluntary manslaughter for fatally shooting her husband Daniel Crespo, pictured right during his oath of office as Bell Gardens mayor.  (EGP Photo Archive)

Lyvette Crespo, izquierda, fue condenada por homicidio tras disparle a su esposo Daniel Crespo, fotografiado aquí durante su juramento como alcalde de Bell Gardens. (Foto: Archivo de EGP)

En su sentencia, la jueza dijo que la acusado “fue abusada durante todo el matrimonio”, y que tanto ella como su esposo “tenían sus demonios”.

Daniel Crespo era “absolutamente cruel” con su esposa y hacía alarde de sus asuntos extraconyugales ante ella. Sin embargo, ella “tampoco era ninguna Madre Teresa”, dijo la jueza.

Lyvette Crespo, la madre de dos hijos adultos, se declaró culpable el 30 de noviembre por homicidio voluntario.

“No creo que Lyvette Crespo merezca ir a la cárcel por esto”, dijo la jueza en la sentencia el mes pasado, señalando que inicialmente estaba sorprendida por los términos del acuerdo pero después pasó horas revisando evidencias y transcripciones del jurado.

El hijo de la pareja le dijo a la jueza que su padre era un “hombre muy complicado”, tanto amado como temido por él, su hermana mayor y su madre. Él describió a los tres como víctimas de violencia doméstica.

Los investigadores del sheriff dijeron que el alcalde y su esposa estaban discutiendo cuando su hijo intervino, conduciendo a una lucha entre el padre y el hijo.

Lyvette Crespo afirmó que ella estaba protegiendo a su hijo cuando agarró una pistola y disparó contra su marido, quien había golpeado al joven en la cara.

El hermano del ex alcalde, William Crespo se opuso a la decisión y cuestionó el por qué su cuñada le disparó a su marido en vez de llamar al 911.

Una demanda civil también fue presentada en octubre de 2014 por la madre de Daniel Crespo quien alega que su nuera se peleó con él sabiendo que su hijo intervendría, luego abrió una caja fuerte, tomó un arma y mató a su esposo “con malicia y a sangre fría”.

Esposa de Alcalde Asesinado de Bell Gardens Sentenciada Por Su Muerte

January 26, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Una juez sentenció el 20 de enero a la esposa del alcalde Daniel Crespo a tres meses en la cárcel del condado y a cinco años de libertad condicional formal por dispararle en el pecho, diciendo que la relación de la pareja era agresiva y esperada a “terminar en una tragedia”.

A pesar de las objeciones del hermano de la víctima, la jueza Kathleen Kennedy de la corte superior de Los Ángeles aceptó el trato negociado entre la fiscalía y Lyvette Crespo, de 45 años. El acuerdo también pide que la madre de dos complete 500 horas de servicio comunitario y un curso de un año para el manejo de la ira.

Crespo, quien ya cumplió dos días en prisión, fue encarcelada inmediatamente después de la sentencia.

Former Bell Gardens Mayor Daniel Crespo, right, with his son, pictured center, and his wife Lyvette Crespo, left, during his swearing in ceremony in 2013. (EGP News photo archive)

El ex alcalde de Bell Gardens Daniel Crespo, (derecha), con su hijo (centro) y esposa Lyvette Crespo, (izquierda), durante la ceremnia de juramento en 2013. (Foto: Archivo de EGP News)

Ella se declaró culpable el 30 de noviembre por homicidio voluntario de la matanza de su esposo el 30 de septiembre del 2014. En noviembre la juez decidió revisar un informe de libertad condicional sobre el caso antes de decidir si acordaba con la negociación del trato.

“No creo que Lyvette Crespo merezca ir a prisión por esto”, dijo la juez el viernes, señalando que al principio estaba sorprendida con los términos del acuerdo de declaración de culpabilidad. Sin embargo, decidió revisar las pruebas detalladamente, incluyendo las transcripciones del gran jurado de los procedimientos en los que Crespo fue acusada en abril de 2015.

La juez dijo que creía que la acusada “fue abusada durante todo su matrimonio”, y que tanto ella como su esposo “tenían sus problemas oscuros”.

Daniel Crespo era “absolutamente cruel” hacia su esposa y le presumía sus relaciones extramaritales en su cara, y ella tampoco “era una Madre Teresa”, dijo la juez.

“Respecto a lo que sucedió el 30 de septiembre, esa situación todavía seguiría. De acuerdo a la evidencia … este final era inevitable, un tren descarrilado que iba en rumbo a la tragedia. Sino hubiese sido él hubiera sido usted”, le dijo la juez directamente a la acusada.

Daniel Nicholas Crespo, ahora de 22 años, le dijo a la juez que su padre era un “hombre muy complicado” y era amado y temido por él, su hermana mayor y su madre. Él se describió a si mismo a su madre y hermana como víctimas de violencia doméstica.

También dijo que admiraba el servicio que su padre le brindó a la ciudad en la que vivían, pero que al igual su padre también era un “mentiroso”, “agresor” y “charlatán”.

“Él tenía muchos demonios…y desafortunadamente, le ganaron,” dijo el hijo de la pareja.

El joven se disculpó con su madre, quien lloró en la corte mientras su hijo habló en la sala de audiencias, y él dijo que deseaba haber sido más fuerte y haber echo algo para detener a su padre y que se culpaba por lo sucedido.

Los investigadores del sheriff dijeron que el alcalde y su esposa estaban discutiendo cuando su hijo intervino, causando a una lucha entre padre e hijo.

Lyvette Crespo afirmó que ella estaba protegiendo a su hijo cuando disparó contra su marido, quien había golpeado al joven en la cara.

William Crespo interrumpió a su sobrino mientras él hablaba en la corte, cuestionando por qué la acusada le disparó a su marido en vez de llamar al 911 y se salió del cuarto junto con su abogado cuando se leyeron los términos de la sentencia.

William Crespo ha negado las acusaciones de que su hermano era abusivo, pero ha reconocido que el alcalde tuvo una serie de asuntos extramaritales que enfurecieron a la acusada.

Familia Crespo durante una celebracion. (Foto de archivo de EGP).

Familia Crespo durante una celebracion. (Foto de archivo de EGP).

Su abogado civil leyó una declaración en su nombre en el tribunal, en la que la muerte de su hermano fue descrita como “un asesinato planeado” y dijo que su cuñada había tomado la ley en sus propias manos eligiendo “ejecutarlo a sangre fría”.

Una demanda civil también fue presentada en octubre de 2014 por la madre de Daniel Crespo alegando que su nuera eligió una pelea con él sabiendo que su hijo intervendría. Luego, relata la demanda, la acusada abrió una caja fuerte, agarró un arma y mató a su esposo “con malicia y a sangre fría”.

Uno de los abogados de Lyvette Crespo, Roger Lowenstein, dijo que “no se cuestionaba de que hubiese abuso en la relación”, mientras que otro de los abogados, Eber Bayona, describió a la acusada como “una víctima a manos del Sr. Crespo por años”.

Beth Silverman, fiscal del distrito, dijo que el caso fue “completamente examinado por la fiscalía “antes de que se concluyera que ‘esta era la disposición apropiada para el caso’”.

Fuera de la corte, el hijo de la pareja dijo: “Si esto fuera una historia, mi padre sería el héroe y también el villano, como Dr. Jekyll y el Sr. Hyde.” Él describió el trabajo que su padre había hecho para la ciudad como “increíble” y agregó que también tenía un “lado realmente oscuro, muy odioso y malévolo”.

Él describió el día de la muerte de su padre como “la primera vez en que resistí a mi padre”.

“No quería pelearme. Yo iba a detenerlo y su reacción fue la violencia”, dijo.

“Traté de sostener sus manos para que él no me golpeara, pero me golpeó en mi ojo derecho y caí hacia atrás en las escaleras. Me tome un momento para darme cuenta de lo que había sucedido, ya sabes, pero mi padre se me vino encima y tuve que correr. Temí por mi vida. Pero aunque estaba aterrorizado, sabía que tenía que hacer algo porque él no podía seguir golpeando a mi mamá … fue entonces cuando ella le disparó y lo vi. Nunca lo olvidaré, pero no estoy enojado con ella. No le tengo ningún odio. No es su culpa”.

La hija de la pareja, Crystal, ahora de 29 años, dijo: “No era como que podíamos fácilmente reportarlo y decir: ‘Miren lo que está haciendo mi padre’ porque él tenía un puesto político y era un agente de vigilancia. Tampoco quería que fuera arrestado”.

Judge OK’s Ex-Mayor’s Wife’s Plea Deal in Husband’s Killing

January 20, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

A judge today sentenced the wife of slain Bell Gardens Mayor Daniel Crespo to three months in county jail and five years of formal probation for shooting him in the chest, saying the couple’s relationship was abusive and bound to “end in tragedy.”

Over the objection of the victim’s brother, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Kathleen Kennedy went along with a plea agreement negotiated between prosecutors and Lyvette Crespo that also calls for the 45-year-old mother of two to perform 500 hours of community service and complete a one-year anger management course.

Crespo — who has already served two days of the jail term — was taken into custody immediately after the sentencing.

She pleaded guilty Nov. 30 to voluntary manslaughter for the Sept. 30, 2014, shooting death of her husband, Daniel. The judge said then that she wanted to review a probation report on the case before deciding whether to go along with the plea bargain.

“I don’t believe that Lyvette Crespo deserves to go to prison for this,” the judge said Friday, noting that she was initially surprised by the terms of the plea agreement but subsequently spent hours reviewing evidence, including grand jury transcripts from proceedings in which Crespo was indicted
in April 2015.

The judge said she believed  the defendant “was abused throughout the marriage,” and that both she and her husband “had their demons.”

Daniel Crespo was “absolutely cruel” to his wife and flaunted his extramarital affairs in her face, and “she was not Mother Teresa” either, the judge said.

Former Bell Gardens Mayor Daniel Crespo, right, with his son, pictured center, and his wife Lyvette Crespo, left, during his swearing in ceremony in 2013. (EGP News photo archive)

Former Bell Gardens Mayor Daniel Crespo, right, with his son, pictured center, and his wife Lyvette Crespo, left, during his swearing in ceremony in 2013. (EGP News photo archive)

“But for what happened on September 30th, it would still be going on. It was inevitable if you look at all of this evidence … This was a train going down the tracks and it was going to end in tragedy at some point … It was going to be you if it wasn’t him,” the judge said, speaking directly to
the defendant.

Daniel Nicholas Crespo — who is now 22 — told the judge that his father was a “very complicated man” who was both loved and feared by him, his older sister and his mother. He described all three of them as victims of domestic violence.

He said he admired his father’s service to the city in which they lived, but said his dad was also a “liar,” “bully” and “cheater.”

“He had a lot of demons … Unfortunately, the demons won,” the couple’s son said.

He apologized to his mother, who wept in court as her son spoke across the courtroom, and told her that he wishes he had been stronger and could have done something to stop his father and that he has blamed himself for what happened.

Sheriff’s investigators said the mayor and his wife were arguing when their son intervened, leading to a struggle between father and son.

Lyvette Crespo claimed she was protecting her son when she grabbed a handgun and shot her husband, who had punched the young man in the face.

William Crespo interrupted his nephew as he spoke in court, questioning why the defendant shot her husband instead of calling 911. He and his attorney walked out of court just as the judge began to read the terms of the sentence.

William Crespo has denied allegations that his brother was abusive, but has acknowledged that the mayor had a series of extramarital affairs that angered his wife.

His civil attorney read a statement on his behalf in court, in which he called his brother’s death “a planned killing” and said his sister-in-law had taken the law into her own hands and chosen “to execute him in cold blood.”

A civil lawsuit filed in October 2014 by Daniel Crespo’s mother alleges her daughter-in-law picked a fight with him knowing that their son would intervene, then opened a safe, grabbed a gun and killed her husband “with malice and in cold blood.”

One of Lyvette Crespo’s attorneys, Roger Lowenstein, said there was “no question that there was abuse in the relationship,” while another of her lawyers, Eber Bayona, described her as “the victim at the hands of Mr. Crespo for a number of years.”

Deputy District Attorney Beth Silverman said the case was “thoroughly vetted by the District Attorney’s Office” before prosecutors concluded that “this was the appropriate disposition in this case.”

Outside court, the couple’s son said, “If there was a story, my father would be the hero and also the villain, like a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.” He described the work his father had done for their city as “amazing” while saying that he had a “really, really dark side, very, very hateful, spiteful.”

He described the events the day his father died as “the first time I ever stood up to my father.”

“I wasn’t going in for a fight. I was going in to stop him and his reaction was violence,” he said. “I tried to hold his hands so he didn’t punch me, but he did punch me in my right eye and I fell backwards on a flight … of stairs. It took me a moment to realize, you know, what just happened and my father just kept coming towards me, kept walking towards me, and I had to run. I was scared for my life. But even though I was terrified, I knew that I had to do something because he could not keep beating up on my mom … When she shot him and I saw it, I’ll never forget it, but I’m not angry at her. I don’t have any hatred. It’s not her fault.”

The couple’s daughter, Crystal, now 29, said, “It’s not like you can just call and say, `Look at what my father’s doing’ because he held a political position as well as being a probation officer. And also, you don’t want him to go to jail.”

 

Updated 3:24 p.m.

Wife of Slain Bell Gardens Mayors Pleads Guilty to Voluntary Manslaughter

November 30, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

The wife of slain Bell Gardens Mayor Daniel Crespo pleaded guilty Wednesday to voluntary manslaughter for shooting him three times in their home just over two years ago.

Lyvette Crespo, 45, is facing three months in county jail, 500 hours of community service and five years formal probation under a disposition reached with the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, according to Deputy District Attorney Beth Silverman.

Crespo is set to be formally sentenced Jan. 5 in connection with the Sept. 30, 2014, shooting death of her husband, Daniel Crespo Sr.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Kathleen Kennedy noted that she will review a probation report once it is completed to determine if she will go along with the disposition. If not, Crespo would have the option of withdrawing her plea, the judge said.

Crespo with wife son Searing In

Former Bell Gardens Mayor Daniel Crespo, right, with his son, pictured center, and his wife Lyvette Crespo, left, during his swearing in ceremony in 2013. (EGP News photo archive)

One of the woman’s attorneys told the judge that she wanted to plead no contest, but the prosecutor insisted on a guilty plea and Crespo eventually acquiesced after speaking with her lawyers.

“She should plead guilty to what she did,” Silverman said outside court. “The factual basis is that she shot him three times in the chest.”

Outside court, Crespo’s brother, William, objected to the plea agreement, which he said he heard about for the first time during the hearing.

“I’m hurt. I’m confused, all kinds of emotions are going on right now,” he told reporters. “I’m so shocked. I still can’t believe that she’s gonna get away with this … She should pay for what she did. She killed my brother.”

He said he believes his sister-in-law’s sentence “should be a long time.”

Crespo’s attorneys have claimed that she shot and killed her husband in self-defense after enduring years of abuse at his hands.

At a hearing last month, defense lawyer Eber Bayona said he thought the two sides had reached a deal, but told the judge that the offer apparently was not approved by supervisors in the District Attorney’s Office.

Another of her attorneys, Roger Lowenstein, told reporters last month that two deals had been on the table. The first, involving a plea of involuntary manslaughter, was withdrawn by prosecutors who then sought a voluntary manslaughter plea. Both deals were for probation with no jail time,
he said.

“Lyvette Crespo is innocent. This is a self-defense case,” Lowenstein said, alleging her husband “tortured [her] for 28 years.”

He said then that it made sense for Crespo to take the deal and “start healing” given the risk of a possible 21-year sentence and a mandatory 10-year term for using a firearm if she had gone to trial and been convicted.

Crespo was indicted in April 2015 on the voluntary manslaughter charge. Los Angeles County sheriff’s investigators have said the mayor and his wife were arguing when their then-19-year-old son, Daniel Crespo Jr., intervened, leading to a struggle between father and son.

Lyvette Crespo claims she was protecting the couple’s son when she grabbed a handgun and shot her husband, who had allegedly punched the young man in the face.

Bayona contends that Daniel Crespo “was a man who abused not only his wife but other women” and mentally and physically abused his children.

William Crespo has denied allegations that his brother was abusive, but said the mayor had a series of extramarital affairs that angered his wife.

A civil lawsuit filed Oct. 20, 2014, by Daniel Crespo’s mother alleges her daughter-in-law picked a fight with him knowing that their son would intervene, then opened a safe, grabbed a gun and killed her husband “with malice and in cold blood.”

No Plea Deal In Crespo Murder Case

October 20, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Efforts to reach a plea deal with no jail time have fallen apart for the wife of slain Bell Gardens Mayor Daniel Crespo Sr., who claims she shot and killed him in self-defense after enduring years of abuse at his hands, her attorneys said Monday.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Kathleen Kennedy asked whether a plea deal had been struck when the parties were discussing potential trial dates for Lyvette Crespo, 45.

Deputy District Attorney Beth Silverman said, “We tried to, your honor.”

Defense attorney Eber Bayona replied, “We thought we had a deal,” but told Kennedy the offer apparently wasn’t approved by supervisors in the District Attorney’s Office.

“I understand the family had a strong voice in the decision-making,” Bayona said.

He said he believed the parties are now at an impasse.

A pretrial hearing was scheduled for Nov. 30, with a tentative trial date of Jan. 5.

Outside the courtroom, co-defense counsel Roger Lowenstein said two deals had been on the table.

The first, involving a plea of involuntary manslaughter, was withdrawn by prosecutors who then sought a voluntary manslaughter plea. Both deals were for probation with no jail time, he said.

“Lyvette Crespo is innocent. This is a self-defense case,” Lowenstein said, alleging her husband “tortured (her) for 28 years.”

However, given the risk of wrongful conviction, a possible 21-year sentence and a mandatory 10-year term for using a firearm, Lowenstein said it made sense for his client to take the deal and “start healing.”

He called the D.A.’s change of heart “political” and believes the decision to renege the agreement was influenced by the media attention Daniel Crespo’s brother William was stirring.

Last week, when news of a possible plea deal first broke, William Crespo told EGP that he and his family were surprised to hear that Lyvette might not have to do any time any jail.

“I’ve never heard of anybody killing somebody and walking away free,” he said in disbelief and anger.

Atty. James Devitt is representing Daniel Crespo’s mother in a wrongful death lawsuit filed against Lyvette soon after the late mayor’s death. According to Devitt, a person convicted of driving under the influence on average serves more time in jail than Lyvette has to date. His clients want Lyvette to serve the maximum sentence possible in state prison, he told EGP,

Devitt believes the D.A. initially considered the plea because prosecutors were concerned about losing a high profile case and taking on a trial that would likely portray Lyvette as a battered spouse.

With no deal on the table, Lowenstein on Monday accused the District Attorney’s Office of “unprofessionalism” and “playing with people’s lives” in withdrawing the deal.

He also dismissed the idea that higher-ups were responsible.

“If Beth Silverman wanted this deal, she would go in and fight for it,” Lowenstein said.

Silverman could not immediately be reached for comment and a spokeswoman for the District Attorney’s Office said they do not comment on plea negotiations conducted outside of open court.

Crespo was indicted by a grand jury on a voluntary manslaughter charge in the Sept. 30, 2014, shooting death of her husband.

Los Angeles County sheriff’s investigators have said the mayor and his wife were arguing when their then-19-year-old son, Daniel Crespo Jr., intervened, leading to a struggle between father and son.

Lyvette Crespo claims she was protecting the couple’s son when she grabbed a handgun and shot her husband, who had allegedly punched the young man in the face.

Bayona contends that Daniel Crespo “was a man who abused not only his wife but other women” and mentally and physically abused his children.

Valerie Alvarez, who runs the Facebook domestic violence support group “LYVETTE CRESPO, WIFE, MOTHER AND NOT GUILTY” told EGP she has hope any potential juror will see that Lyvette’s actions were justified following years of domestic abuse.

“People are starting to realize you can’t just get up and leave,” she said.

William Crespo has denied allegations that his brother was abusive, but said the mayor had a series of extramarital affairs that angered his wife. He claims Lyvette threatened her husband, was planning on leaving him but “wanted him dead.”

The multi-million dollar civil lawsuit filed Oct. 20, 2014, by Daniel Crespo’s mother alleges her daughter-in-law picked a fight with him knowing that their son would intervene, then opened a safe, grabbed a gun and killed her husband “with malice and in cold blood.” The suit is has been stalled until the criminal case comes to an end.

“I miss him everyday.” said William Crespo, while starring at a photograph of his late brother. “Whateverw happens we just need to let him rest in peace.”

EGP Staff Writer Nancy Martinez contributed to this report.

 

No Plea Deal For Wife of Slain Bell Gardens Mayor

October 17, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Efforts to reach a plea deal with no jail time have fallen apart for the wife of slain Bell Gardens Mayor Daniel Crespo Sr., who claims she shot and killed him in self-defense after enduring years of abuse at his hands, her attorneys said Monday.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Kathleen Kennedy asked whether a plea deal had been struck when the parties were discussing potential trial dates for Lyvette Crespo, 45.

Deputy District Attorney Beth Silverman said, “We tried to, your honor.”

Defense attorney Eber Bayona replied, “We thought we had a deal,” but told Kennedy the offer apparently wasn’t approved by supervisors in the District Attorney’s Office.

“I understand the family had a strong voice in the decision-making,” Bayona said.

He said he believed the parties are now at an impasse.

A pretrial hearing was scheduled for Nov. 30, with a tentative trial date of Jan. 5.

Outside the courtroom, co-defense counsel Roger Lowenstein said two deals had been on the table.

The first, involving a plea of involuntary manslaughter, was withdrawn by prosecutors who then sought a voluntary manslaughter plea. Both deals were for probation with no jail time, he said.

“Lyvette Crespo is innocent. This is a self-defense case,” Lowenstein said, alleging her husband “tortured (her) for 28 years.”

However, given the risk of wrongful conviction, a possible 21-year sentence and a mandatory 10-year term for using a firearm, Lowenstein said it made sense for his client to take the deal and “start healing.”

Crespo with wife son Searing In

(EGP photo archive)

Daniel Crespo’s brother William was informed of the potential plea deal and spoke out against it to ABC7.

“That’s wrong. You get more for killing a dog,” William Crespo told a Channel 7 reporter last week.

An attorney representing the mayor’s brother and mother said Lyvette Crespo had other options.

“Lyvette had time to walk into the bedroom, get the 9 mm gun, load it, take the safety off and fire three shots down a stairwell and into my client’s chest,” James Devitt told the station.

Lowenstein accused the District Attorney’s Office of “unprofessionalism” and “playing with people’s lives” in withdrawing the deal.

He also dismissed the idea that higher-ups were responsible.

“If Beth Silverman wanted this deal, she would go in and fight for it,” Lowenstein said.

Silverman could not immediately be reached for comment and a spokeswoman for the District Attorney’s Office said they do not comment on plea negotiations conducted outside of open court.

Crespo was indicted by a grand jury on a voluntary manslaughter charge in the Sept. 30, 2014, shooting death of her husband.

Los Angeles County sheriff’s investigators have said the mayor and his wife were arguing when their then-19-year-old son, Daniel Crespo Jr., intervened, leading to a struggle between father and son.

Lyvette Crespo claims she was protecting the couple’s son when she grabbed a handgun and shot her husband, who had allegedly punched the young man in the face.

Bayona contends that Daniel Crespo “was a man who abused not only his wife but other women” and mentally and physically abused his children.

William Crespo has denied allegations that his brother was abusive, but said the mayor had a series of extramarital affairs that angered his wife.

A civil lawsuit filed Oct. 20, 2014, by Daniel Crespo’s mother alleges her daughter-in-law picked a fight with him knowing that their son would intervene, then opened a safe, grabbed a gun and killed her husband “with malice and in cold blood.”

Years Before Slain Mayor’s Death, Bloggers Were Telling Tales

September 24, 2015 by · 1 Comment 

In June 2007, an anonymous blogger started a thread on the Bell Gardens Topix board titled “Daniel Crespo.” What began as an opportunity for the author to vent about his mistrust of the city official, quickly turned into allegations of adultery and abuse, charges that years later would grip local and national headlines in the wake of the mayor’s untimely and violent death.

 

Shot Heard Around The World

It’s been nearly a year since the small working class city of Bell Gardens was invaded by swarms of news trucks and reporters covering the shooting death of the city’s mayor at the hands of the woman he called his “high school sweetheart.”

News of the shocking shooting death of a beloved city official would quickly give way to a story alleging scandal, infidelity and spousal abuse by Mayor Daniel Crespo.

Initial reports out of the city on the afternoon of Sept. 30, 2014, said the mayor was shot at his home. But a shocking detail soon emerged — the person who pulled the trigger was none other than the mayor’s wife, Lyvette Crespo.

According to police, Lyvette admitted to shooting her husband in self-defense: The couple’s teen-aged son Daniel told police his mother was defending him against his father who had hurt him. Later, it was revealed Lyvette alleged she had suffered years of abuse at the hands of Crespo.

For some, the allegations seemed to come out of left field. The image of Crespo as a wife beater did not match their view of him as a man dedicated to helping the city’s working class, mostly immigrant residents. They saw him as a noble man dedicated to ensuring Bell Gardens thrived and did not end up like other southeast cities riddled with corruption.

Others, however, were not surprised that the man who seemed dedicated to keeping city hall transparent, may have actually kept his biggest secrets at home.

 

Foreshadow of Tales to Come

Back in 2007, bloggers angrily blamed Crespo for the city’s volatile political climate, which at the time included threats of recalls and voter fraud. Some accused then Councilman Crespo of personal indiscretions.

“Daniel Crespo is a womanizer,” wrote Concerned Resident. “I know there was talk about him having an affair… I hear he is very friendly with his commissioners.”

Another blogger brought up a sexual harassment lawsuit that accused Crespo of harassing a city employee. The city was later forced to settle the suit brought by a former employee for $70,000.

“He always denies it, but the truth is it happened,” wrote Refreshed Memory. 

The blogger acknowledged Crespo’s longstanding claim that the whole incident was a misunderstanding and political set up.

“I feel sorry for his wife,” another blogger posted. 

Within months, the thread had a dozen posts. Many of the comments attacked Crespo and other political figures in the city.

That same year, a blogger referenced an incident where Crespo was said to have exhibited a gun during a homeowners association meeting at the complex where he lived.

“This is yet more proof on how he abuses his power to threaten people and feels superior,” wrote Case 990831. 

His fans came to his support on the blog, calling him a “good church-going” man.

“You guys talk nonsense about him and his family,” wrote I support Crespo. “I heard he is working undercover to clean up city hall.”

Years later, the blog comments seemed to foreshadow what was to come — accusations mirrored in testimony in the Grand Jury indictment of Lynette on a charge of voluntary manslaughter for the death of her husband.

She pleaded not guilty and is currently out on bail.

(Screenshots of Topix website)

(Screenshots of Topix website)

In 2007, one blogger wrote he had witnessed Crespo and his wife arguing in front of their children outside St. Gertrude’s Church. According to media reports, Crespo’s daughter Crystal told the Grand Jury her father once punched her mother on their way home from church.

Another blogger also claimed to have witnessed evidence of Crespo’s abuse of his wife: “I have seen marks on her arms,” wrote Say No to Abuse. “He abuses his power and his wife too.” 

Lyvette’s lawyer has released photos of injuries his client years earlier allegedly sustained at the hands of her husband. The images show Lyvette with a black eye and cuts around her lips.

Then, for nearly three years, the blog went cold, no comments or posts or accusations until 2010 when BGFeatherwood wrote: “Daniel Crespo is human and yet is very compassionate and caring not greedy and corrupt like the rest of the city council …Anyone who says otherwise doesn’t know what they are talking about.” 

(Screenshots of Topix website)

(Screenshots of Topix website)

Four years later, bloggers started to post again: Crespo had been killed.

 “RIP Daniel Crespo … guess a lot of what [was] said on here might have been true … one thing for sure though … you died by your own gun,” wrote Life Long BG Resident on Sept. 30, the day of the shooting.

Crespo, a parole officer licensed to carry a handgun, was shot with his own weapon.

 “You did all you could to help Bell Gardens and your family,” wrote Legal Resident the next day. “Good bless your wife and kids as they try to live without you. It will be hard for all.”

“He got what he deserved,” wrote a less sympathetic blogger.

 

Looking Ahead

In the weeks following the shooting, media outlets across the country dissected the mayor’s life, interviewing family, friends, neighbors, acquaintance and fellow elected officials.

Many people said “they never knew” about the “darker side” of the mayor’s private life. City officials and staff noted his wife and children rarely accompanied him to city events. During funeral services, many spoke of mended relationships and his happiness to after years of being passed over, finally being voted in as mayor by his council colleagues: a title he will now hold in perpetuity.

Things have quieted down in Bell Gardens in the ensuing months. The city has even cancelled the city council election that was supposed to take place in November since no one but the two sitting longtime councilmembers in those seats filed to run.

But that could change early next year as national attention is again focused on the small southeast city during Lyvette’s murder trial, scheduled to begin Jan. 4. A separate wrongful death civil lawsuit filed against Lyvette by Crespo’s mother, is also awaiting trial.

A crime show is filming an expose on the sordid story detailed in 1,500 plus pages of Grand Jury testimony, which includes statements from responding officers, Crespo’s two children, the mayor’s alleged girlfriends and others.

On the day of the killing, the couple got into a heated argument over the mayor’s alleged affairs, exchanging threatening and profanity laced text messages in the hours before the fatal confrontation at the couple’s home.

If convicted, Lyvette could face 21 years in state prison.

“[Crespo] was a womanizer who abused his power,” reads the last post on the blog.

“He paid the ultimate price.”

 

Antes de la Muerte del Alcalde de Bell Gardens, Bloggers Contaban Historias

September 24, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

En junio de 2007, un blogger anónimo comenzó una cadena titulada “Daniel Crespo” en la página de Internet Topix. Lo que comenzó como una oportunidad que el autor ventilara su desconfianza hacia el funcionario de la ciudad, se convirtió rápidamente en acusaciones de adulterio y abuso, los cargos que años más tarde serían titulares locales y nacionales tras la muerte prematura y violenta del alcalde.

Read this article in English: Years Before Slain Mayor’s Death, Bloggers were Telling Tales

 

Disparo Escuchado Alrededor del Mundo

Ha pasado casi un año desde que la pequeña ciudad de clase trabajadora de Bell Gardens fue invadida por enjambres de camiones de prensa y periodistas que cubrían la muerte a tiros del alcalde de la ciudad a manos de la mujer a quien él llamó su “novia de la secundaria”.

La impactante noticia de la muerte a tiros de un querido funcionario de la ciudad rápidamente dio paso a una historia alegando escándalo, infidelidad y abuso conyugal por parte del alcalde Daniel Crespo.

Los informes iniciales de la ciudad en la tarde del 30 de septiembre de 2014, dijeron que el alcalde recibió un disparo en su casa. Pero un detalle impactante pronto surgió—la persona que apretó el gatillo no era otra que la esposa del alcalde, Lyvette Crespo.

Según la policía, Lyvette admitió haber disparado a su marido en defensa propia: el joven hijo de la pareja, Daniel, dijo a la policía que su madre lo defendió contra su padre quien lo había lastimado. Más tarde, se reveló que Lyvette alegó que había sufrido años de abusos en manos de Crespo.

Para algunos, las acusaciones parecían venir de la nada. La imagen de Crespo como un golpeador de esposa no coincidía con su visión de él como un hombre dedicado a ayudar a la clase obrera de la ciudad, en su mayoría residentes inmigrantes. Ellos lo veían como un hombre noble dedicado a asegurarse que Bell Gardens prosperara y no terminara como otras ciudades del sureste plagadas de corrupción.

Otros, sin embargo, no se sorprendieron del hombre quien parecía estar dedicado a mantener el ayuntamiento transparente, pudiera tener guardados en casa sus más grandes secretos.

Crespo with wife son Searing In

Daniel Crespo junto a su esposa Lyvette y su hijo Daniel, los dos únicos testigos de su asesinato.(EGP archivo)

 

Presagiar los Cuentos Venideros

Ya en 2007, los bloggers airadamente culpaban a Crespo por el clima político volátil de la ciudad, que en ese momento incluía amenazas de destitución y el fraude electoral. Algunos acusaron entonces al Concejal Crespo de indiscreciones personales.

“Daniel Crespo es un mujeriego”, escribió Concerned Resident. “Sé que se habló de él teniendo una aventura … He oído que es muy amable con sus comisionados”.

Otro blogger trajo una demanda de acoso sexual que acusó a Crespo de acosar a una empleada de la ciudad. La ciudad más tarde fue obligada a resolver la demanda presentada por un ex empleado de $70.000.

“Él siempre lo niega, pero la verdad es que si pasó, ha pasado”, escribió Refreshed Memory.

El blogger reconoció el reclamo de mucho tiempo de Crespo de que todo el incidente fue un malentendido y un montaje político.

“Lo siento por su esposa”, publicó otro blogger.

En cuestión de meses, la cadena tenía una docena de mensajes. Muchos de los comentarios atacaron a Crespo y a otras figuras políticas de la ciudad.

Ese mismo año, un blogger hizo referencia a un incidente en el que se decía que Crespo había exhibido un arma de fuego durante una reunión de la asociación de propietarios en el complejo donde vivía.

“Esta es una prueba más de cómo abusa de su poder para amenazar a la gente y se siente superior”, escribió Case 990831.

Sus fans llegaron a su apoyo en el blog, llamándolo un hombre “que asistía a la iglesia”.

“Ustedes hablan tonterías sobre él y su familia”, escribió I Support Crespo. “Escuché que está trabajando de incógnito para limpiar el ayuntamiento”.

Años más tarde, los comentarios del blog parecían presagiar lo que vendría – acusaciones reflejadas en el testimonio del Gran Jurado de Lynette bajo la acusación de homicidio voluntario por la muerte de su marido.

Ella se declaró inocente y se encuentra actualmente en libertad bajo fianza.

(Tomas de foto de la página de Internet Topix)

(Tomas de foto de la página de Internet Topix)

En 2007, un blogger escribió que había presenciado como Crespo y su esposa peleaban delante de sus hijos fuera de la Iglesia de Santa Gertrudis. Según informes de prensa, la hija de Crespo Crystal le dijo al Gran Jurado que su padre una vez golpeó a su madre en su camino a casa de la iglesia.

Otro blogger también dijo haber sido testigo del abuso de Crespo hacia su esposa:

“He visto marcas en sus brazos”, escribió Say No to Abuse. “Él abusa de su poder y su esposa también”.

El abogado de Lyvette ha revelado fotos de las lesiones de su cliente, de años atrás, que presuntamente sufrió en manos de su marido. Las imágenes muestran a Lyvette con un ojo negro y cortadas alrededor de los labios.

Después, por casi tres años, el blog estuvo estático, sin comentarios o mensajes o acusaciones hasta el 2010 cuando BGFeatherwood escribió: “Daniel Crespo es humano y, sin embargo es muy compasivo y solidario no codicioso y corrupto como el resto del ayuntamiento…Cualquiera que diga lo contrario no saben lo que están hablando”.

Cuatro años más tarde, los bloggers empezaron a publicar de nuevo: Crespo había sido asesinado.

“QEPD Daniel Crespo … supongo que mucho de lo que se decía aquí que pudo haber sido cierto… una cosa es segura,… usted murió por su propia arma”, escribió Life Long BG Resident, el 30 de septiembre, el día del tiroteo.

Crespo, un oficial de libertad condicional con licencia para portar un arma de fuego, fue asesinado con su propia arma.

“Hiciste todo lo que pudiste para ayudar a Bell Gardens y a tu familia”, escribió Legal Resident el siguiente día. “[Dios] bendiga a tu esposa e hijos, que tratarán de vivir sin ti. Será difícil para todos”.

“Obtuvo lo que se merecía”, escribió un blogger menos simpatizante.

 

Ver Hacia Adelante

En las semanas siguientes al tiroteo, los medios de comunicación de todo el país analizaron la vida del alcalde, entrevistando a familiares, amigos, vecinos, conocidos y compañeros funcionarios electos.

Mucha gente dijo “que nunca supieron” sobre el “lado oscuro” de la vida privada del alcalde. Funcionarios de la ciudad y el personal observaron que su esposa e hijos rara vez lo acompañaban a eventos de la ciudad. Durante los funerales, muchos hablaron de las relaciones remendadas y su felicidad después de años de ser pasado por alto, siendo finalmente elegido como alcalde por sus colegas del consejo: un título que ahora llevará a cabo a perpetuidad.

Las cosas se han calmado en Bell Gardens en los meses siguientes. La ciudad incluso ha cancelado la elección del consejo que se supone que tendría lugar en noviembre, ya que nadie aparte de los dos concejales electos en esos asientos archivaron documentos para correr.

Pero eso podría cambiar principios del próximo año cuando la atención nacional se centre de nuevo en la pequeña ciudad sureste durante el juicio de Lyvette por asesinato, programado para comenzar el 4 de enero. Una demanda civil por muerte injusta separada presentada contra Lyvette por la madre de Crespo, también está en espera de juicio.

Un programa de crimen está filmando una exposición sobre la historia sórdida detallada en más de 1,500 páginas de testimonios del Gran Jurado, que incluye declaraciones de los oficiales que respondieron, los dos hijos de Crespo, las supuestas novias del alcalde y otros.

En el día del asesinato, la pareja tuvo una discusión acalorada sobre presuntos asuntos del alcalde, el intercambio de amenazas y profanidad atada en mensajes de texto, horas previas a la confrontación fatal en la casa de la pareja.

Si es declarada culpable, Lyvette podría enfrentar 21 años en una prisión estatal.

“[Crespo] era un mujeriego que abusó de su poder”, se lee en el último mensaje en el blog.

“Él pagó el precio más alto”.

—-

Twitter @nancyreporting

nmartinez@egpnews.com

Slain Mayor’s Mother Wins Access to Police Reports

June 25, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

A judge has reversed himself and ruled that an attorney for the mother of slain Bell Gardens Mayor Daniel Crespo — whose wife is accused of shooting him — can have access to the police report he says he needs to get his client’s civil case ready for trial.

Otilia Santos’ attorney, James Devitt, filed court papers in Los Angeles Superior Court asking a judge to order the Bell Gardens Police Department to turn over the police report and all documents related to the death of her son, Daniel Crespo.

On April 17, Judge Michael Raphael denied Devitt’s motion, noting that the police investigation was still in progress. But Raphael said June 18 that in light of a grand jury indictment of Lyvette Crespo for voluntary manslaughter and her subsequent plea of not guilty, no legal grounds remain for withholding the information.

“This is precisely the sort of new fact or circumstance that warrants reconsideration,” Raphael wrote in his two-page ruling.

Raphael said he is not requiring the BGPD to turn over photos of the decedent. He also said Devitt cannot disseminate the report to the public unless he also obtains a copy from another source.

In court papers filed before Lyvette Crespo’s indictment, lawyers for the BGPD said they would only turn over the records if ordered by a judge to do so. The department handed over the investigation into Crespo’s death to the Sheriff’s Department shortly after the mayor was killed, according to the BGPD attorneys’ court papers.

Devitt said after the hearing that the Bell Gardens report is five pages long. He said he still has not seen the Sheriff’s Department report and may have to make a similar motion to obtain it.

Santos filed suit last Oct. 20, exactly a month after her 45-year-old son was shot. Sheriff’s investigators said Daniel Crespo and his wife were arguing when their 19-year-old son, Daniel Crespo Jr., intervened, leading to a struggle between father and son. Lyvette Crespo allegedly grabbed a gun and shot her husband, who had punched their son in the face.

Santos alleges her son was shot in cold blood. The lawsuit alleges his wife picked a fight with him knowing that their son would intervene, then opened a safe, grabbed a gun and killed her husband “with malice and in cold blood.”

Eber Bayona, the attorney for 43-year-old Lyvette Crespo, contends his client was a longtime victim of domestic violence. Transcripts from the grand jury indictment contend Daniel Crespo had multiple affairs and physically abused his family members for years.

Bayona opposed the release of the Bell Gardens report pending the outcome of his motion to stay the civil case until the criminal proceedings against his client are over. He said his client would not be able to give a deposition in the lawsuit because what she said could be used against her in the criminal case.

Bayona also said in court that Devitt offered to drop the lawsuit if he could obtain the rights from Lyvette Crespo to make a movie about her life.

However, Devitt said he told Bayona that there may be some value in such a film but that he did not offer to drop the suit in exchange for any movie rights.

Testimonio de Gran Jurado Revela Detalles Sórdidos en el Caso de Crespo

May 7, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Detalles reveladores del gran jurado en la muerte a tiros del alcalde de Bell Gardens Daniel Crespo cuentan una historia inquietante de disfunción, abuso y una supuesta infidelidad en serie en los años previos a su asesinato el otoño pasado.

El mes pasado el gran jurado acusó a la esposa del alcalde, Lyvette Crespo, de homicidio voluntario con un arma de fuego en el tiroteo, a pesar de la afirmación de su abogado de que el tiroteo fue justificado debido a que su cliente por años fue víctima de abuso verbal y físico en manos de su marido, y se estaba defendiendo a sí misma y a su hijo cuando le disparó.

Lyvette Crespo, de 43 años, se declaró inocente y fue liberada de la cárcel tras pagar $150.000 de fianza.

Las más de 1,500 páginas de testimonio del gran jurado reveladas al público el lunes incluyen declaraciones de los oficiales que respondieron, los dos hijos de los Crespo –Crystal Crespo y Daniel Crespo Jr.— la supuesta novia del alcalde y otros, informaron los medios de comunicación.

Según la transcripción, Lyvette sabía sobre las supuestas novias de su marido, informó el lunes el diario Los Ángeles Times.

Crespo tenía varias aventuras amorosas durante su matrimonio, e incluso participó en una ceremonia de “boda falsa” en Las Vegas con una amante en 2013.

Esa supuesta novia testificó que el ex alcalde le dijo que su esposa lo había amenazado con dispararle y envenenarlo, según informó el Times.

La pareja tuvo una “relación…muy inestable” un fiscal dijo al panel del gran jurado.

EGP previamente informó que el hermano del alcalde, William Crespo acusó a Lyvette de amenazar varias veces antes de matar a su marido, citando mensajes de texto incluidos en el testimonio del gran jurado:

“Voy a averiguar a quién … le agarraste flores. Tiene que ser una prostituta de Bell Gardens” leía uno de los mensajes que se dice Lyvette había enviado a su marido unos meses antes del tiroteo.

“Es mejor [que sea la] última vez TU me amenazas con dispararme en [la] cabeza!!!”, fue la respuesta del teléfono de Daniel Crespo.

“A la gente no le gusta que se juegue con ellos o sean puestos en ridículo”, respondió ella. “He aguantado mucho…. No juegues conmigo. No juegues conmigo”.

El día del crimen, la pareja se involucró en una discusión acalorada sobre las presuntas aventuras del alcalde, intercambiando mensajes amenazantes y de profanidad en las horas previas a la confrontación fatal.

La lucha continuó en persona en la casa de la pareja, de acuerdo con las transcripciones.

El hijo de la pareja dijo que recibió un mensaje de texto de su madre diciéndole “Ven a casa, es tu padre”, el oficial de policía de Bell Gardens Víctor Ruiz declaró, según NBC4.

Daniel Jr. escuchó la discusión y golpes fuertes procedentes de la oficina de su padre y trató de intervenir, pero cuando llamó a la puerta su padre le dijo “No ch— conmigo” y le dio un puñetazo en la cara, causando que cayera por un tramo de escaleras, según Ruiz dijo le había contado Daniel Jr. después de los disparos. Luego, tratando de proteger a su madre, Daniel Jr. persuadió a su padre para que lo siguiera por el resto de las escaleras: Es cuando él levantó la vista y vio a su madre en la parte superior de las escaleras y le disparó a su padre tres veces. Ruiz dijo a miembros del jurado.

Daniel Jr. sufrió un corte en la cara durante el altercado.

Ambos hijos testificaron que su padre había abusado a su madre verbal y físicamente a través de los años, con Crystal diciendo que el abuso se había vuelto más físico en los últimos dos años, informó NBC4. Daniel Jr. dijo que él le dijo a un consejero de la escuela sobre el abuso en el 2011, informó el Times.

Crystal testificó que ella también era victima del abuso. Afirmó que su padre la estranguló cuando ella tenía 15 años.

Los fiscales dijeron a miembros del jurado que Daniel Crespo maltrataba a su esposa, “al salir por la noche … la trataba como si fuera su empleada doméstica”. Lyvette puede haber tenido todos los motivos para estar muy enojada con él, pero de acuerdo con los fiscales ella también provocó en varias ocasiones a su marido, demostrando que no le tenía miedo.

Si es declarada culpable, Lyvette podría enfrentar 21 años en una prisión estatal. Ella debe regresar a la corte para una audiencia previa al juicio 29 de mayo.

Next Page »

Copyright © 2017 Eastern Group Publications/EGPNews, Inc. ·