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Friday, July 19, 2024 | Back issues
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Slain Mayor’s Mom Sues Daughter-in-Law

LOS ANGELES (CN) - The mother of the Bell Gardens mayor allegedly killed by his wife filed a wrongful death complaint Monday against her daughter-in-law, calling her a "cold blooded killer."

Otilia Santos filed the civil lawsuit against Lyvette Crespo over the shooting of her son, Bell Gardens Mayor Daniel Crespo, who was 45 when he was shot in his home in a condominium complex in Bell Gardens on Sept 30.

Crespo's brother William Crespo is a plaintiff in the Superior Court complaint.

Lyvette shot her husband multiple times in the torso after the couple got into an argument in the afternoon, authorities said.

Their 19-year-old son, Daniel Crespo Jr., allegedly suffered facial injuries after intervening in what authorities reportedly called a domestic dispute.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department questioned Lyvette Crespo on the day of the shooting and released her without charge.

The case was forwarded to the L.A. County District Attorney's Office, which will determine whether to press charges, the Sheriff's Department said.

Days after the shooting, Lyvette Crespo's attorney Eber Bayona said her client had been the victim of years of domestic violence.

But Daniel Santos' mother says in the lawsuit that a "reasonable person would have first called 911" instead of shooting her son dead.

"Under California law, a person in defendant Lyvette's situation is only allowed to use as much force as was necessary to protect another person - certainly not 5-6 shots into the chest of her husband," the lawsuit states.

"Lyvette Crespo is a cold blooded killer," the complaint adds.

Santos says that the couple got into an argument when Lyvette refused to let the mayor take an afternoon nap. She claims that Lyvette had threatened to kill her son "many times," and got violent with him, knowing that 19-year-old Daniel Crespo Jr. would get between them.

"After the father and son began to fight Lyvette went to a safe, opened it and then took a pistol and shot her husband multiple times in the torso, killing him with malice and in cold blood," the complaint states.

An attachment to the complaint states that Santos is alleging counts of murder, general negligence, premises liability and battery.

Calling Lyvette's actions "premeditated, reprehensible, illegal and shocking," Santos seeks exemplary damages for the "loss of her son."

She is represented by James DeVitt with DeVitt and Saltzburg.

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