The wife of slain Bell Gardens Mayor Daniel Crespo has been freed after serving less than six weeks in county jail for shooting him in the chest, authorities confirmed Tuesday.
Lyvette Crespo, 45, was released from jail at 10:02 a.m. Monday, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
Crespo was taken into custody Jan. 20 to begin serving a three-month county jail term stemming from the Sept. 30, 2014, shooting death of her husband, Daniel. She had already served two days of the term before the sentence was imposed.
Over the objection of the victim’s brother, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Kathleen Kennedy went along last month with a plea agreement negotiated between prosecutors and Lyvette Crespo that also calls for her to perform 500 hours of community service and complete a one-year anger management course.
At her sentencing, the judge said 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.
“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 told the defendant.
Lyvette Crespo — the mother of two grown children — pleaded guilty Nov. 30 to voluntary manslaughter.
“I don’t believe that Lyvette Crespo deserves to go to prison for this,” the judge said at the defendant’s sentencing last month, noting that she was initially surprised by the terms of the plea agreement but subsequently spent hours reviewing evidence, including grand jury transcripts.
The couple’s son 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.
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 has questioned why his sister-in-law shot her husband instead of calling 911. He denied allegations that his brother was abusive, but acknowledged that the mayor had a series of extramarital affairs that angered his wife.
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.”