Woman gets 90 days in jail for killing mayor husband in LA suburb

The plea nixes a criminal trial, which would have raised questions as to whether the shooting was justifiable self-defense.

By Doug G. Ware

LOS ANGELES, Nov. 30 (UPI) -- A California woman who said she was repeatedly abused by her husband, who happened to be the mayor of a Los Angeles-area town, will spend three months in jail for shooting him dead two years ago, according to a plea deal reached Wednesday.

Lynette Crespo struck a plea deal with prosecutors, agreeing to plead guilty to a charge of voluntary manslaughter. In exchange, she received a 90-day jail sentence and five years of probation. She also must perform 500 hours of community service and receive anger management counseling.


Crespo, 45, shot and killed her husband, Bell Gardens, Calif., Mayor Daniel Crespo, on Sept. 30, 2014, in their home during what she said was a domestic dispute. She also told investigators that she had endured physical and psychological abuse, and numerous bouts of infidelity by her husband.

ARCHIVE Sept. 2014: Mayor of LA suburb shot, killed inside home

Crespo cited a responsibility to protect her teenage son, who was present in the home at the time of the mayor's death. The boy told police his father had punched him in the face and knocked him down a set of stairs immediately before the shooting.


The allegations of abuse, though, have been disputed by Daniel Crespo's relatives, who cite an audio recording he took of one of the couple's conversations, in which Lynette supposedly threatens to shoot him if he cheated on her with another woman.

"Why would you threaten to shoot me?" the mayor is heard to say on the recording, to which his wife responds, "Well, if you cheat, that's what I would do."

Prosecutors had entered the recordings and threatening text messages into evidence for a trial that was expected to begin early next year.

"It's totally outrageous and wrong," attorney James Devitt, who represents Daniel Crespo's mother and brother, said of what he believes is far too lenient a punishment.

ARCHIVE Sept. 2014: Wife of dead Bell Gardens mayor was victim of abuse

"Go to a shelter, get a divorce, get a restraining order. But don't get out your 9-mm and put three bullets in someone's chest," Devitt added.

A grand jury indicted Lynette Crespo on a voluntary manslaughter charge last year, as opposed to dismissing the case as an incident of justifiable homicide.

A judge still needs to approve the plea agreement, which is expected at a court hearing Jan. 5.


Latest Headlines