LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — 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 Thursday.

Lyvette Crespo, 43, was arraigned this morning in Los Angeles Superior Court, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

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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.

She had been initially detained and questioned by authorities following the shooting, but was not arrested as she claimed self-defense in the shooting, according to a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department spokesperson.


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.

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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.”

Crespo is due back in court May 29 for a pretrial hearing. If convicted, she faces up to 21 years in state prison, according to prosecutors.

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