Wife of slain Bell Gardens mayor pleads not guilty to manslaughter

The wife of slain Bell Gardens Mayor Daniel Crespo has pleaded not guilty to a grand jury indictment charging her with voluntary manslaughter, prosecutors announced last week.

Lyvette Crespo was arraigned in Los Angeles last week.

Crespo’s shooting of her late husband is not in question. Sheriff’s deputies questioned her after the shooting and did not arrest her after she told them the shooting was in self defense.

Crespo allegedly shot her 45-year-old husband three times in the right chest while both were home on Sept. 30, 2014, according to prosecutors. The indictment includes an allegation that she personally discharged a handgun.

KCBS reports, “Crespo’s daughter had previously told officials that her father was verbally and physically abusive for over 20 years to her mother, alleging that Crespo was known to drag Lyvette by the hair to force her to sleep with him.

“When Lyvette wouldn’t comply, the daughter alleged Daniel would cause injuries that weren’t serious enough to draw attention for reports to be filed.

Daniel Crespo’s brother, William, has denied the allegation, but hinted the mayor had an extramarital affair.

“A civil lawsuit filed last Oct. 20 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.’”