Two days after Bell Gardens Mayor Daniel Crespo was shot and killed in what authorities described as a domestic dispute, an attorney representing the slain official's wife described his client as a long-time victim of domestic violence who suffered through an "intolerable home life."
Levette Crespo, 43, was briefly detained after shooting her 45-year-old husband at their home, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said. Their 19-year-old son, Daniel Crespo Jr., had tried to intervene when the couple got into an argument in their bedroom, authorities said.
After the teenager suffered facial injuries in a physical struggle with his father, Levette Crespo produced a firearm and shot the Bell Gardens official multiple times in the torso, officials said. Daniel Crespo was transported to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
His wife was released after being questioned by sheriff's investigators, who said no arrests would be made at the time.
Levette Crespo was described by her attorney, Eber Bayona, as a devoted wife and mother who had been abused for a long time as she dealt with a "difficult and intolerable home life."
“I think the evidence will corroborate that she has been a victim of domestic violence for many years,” Bayona said during a news conference on Thursday, adding that "domestic violence knows no barriers to class or culture."
During the news conference, Bayona mentioned Daniel Crespo when referring to other high profile domestic violence cases that have made national news recently.
“There was Ray Rice, Adrian (Peterson), and now we’re dealing with Daniel Crespo,” Bayona said.
Daniel Crespo’s brother, William Crespo, said Bayona’s allegations were false and the attorney was trying to make his brother look bad.
“My brother’s not a bad man,” William Crespo said, and stated that he wants Levette Crespo to be charged with second-degree murder.
William Crespo did admit to KTLA that his brother was having an affair and that his mistress was pregnant.
The mayor was considering leaving his wife, his brother said, adding that Levette Crespo was a jealous woman.