LOS ANGELES (UPI) — A 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.
Lynette Crespo struck a plea deal with prosecutors on Wednesday — 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.
The claims 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.
No one disputes that there were difficulties and abuse in the couple’s marriage, but relatives of the 46-year-old mayor said it went both ways.
“Go to a shelter, get a divorce, get a restraining order. But don’t get out your 9-millimeter 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.