BELL GARDENS (CBSLA.com) — The mother of slain Bell Gardens mayor Daniel Crespo filed a wrongful-death lawsuit Monday against her daughter-in-law.
The Los Angeles Times reports that Crespo’s brother, William, filed the suit on behalf of Otila Santos, Crespo’s mother, as her guardian ad litem. She remained in a nursing home.
The suit reportedly seeks more than $53 million in damages.
The filing of the suit was announced by William Crespo during an afternoon news conference. The family has retained James “Jay” Devitt.
“They jumped on my brother. My brother was maybe pushing them off of him. I feel this murder was planned. That’s all I can say. It was planned,” Crespo said at the news conference. “Lyvette, you should not have killed my brother. You belong behind bars for killing my brother.”
Also revealed during the press conference were text messages William Crespo claims were sent by his brother to Lyvette Crespo earlier this year. The message was allegedly sent after Lyvette had found out about his affair.
One of the messages from Daniel Crespo allegedly states, “It better b d last time U threaten to shoot me in d head!!!”
Further details about the suit were not immediately released.
The mayor died Sept. 30 after being shot by his wife in his home, authorities said. He was 45.
According to authorities, Crespo and his wife were involved in an altercation that turned physical.
Lyvette Crespo alleged that the incident was an act of self-defense while William Crespo claimed in the weeks following that he believed Lyvette killed him upon learning of his brother’s extramarital affairs.
No charges have been filed in the case, which remained under review.
A call placed by CBS2 to Lyvette Crespo’s attorney was not immediately returned.