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Slain Southern California mayor had a mistress, abused his wife, reports claim

Daniel Crespo and his wife Levette Crespo (left) and crime scene on Tuesday at Crespo family residence (right).

Daniel Crespo and his wife Levette Crespo (left) and crime scene on Tuesday at Crespo family residence (right).

The brother of the Bell Gardens, Calif. mayor who was shot and killed says that Daniel Crespo was having an affair with a woman who harassed his family. 

"He came to me crying and he said, 'Willy I cheated on her,'" said William Crespo, Daniel Crespo's brother told local media. "It was wrong that he cheated on her."

William Crespo says Daniel was ashamed of the affair and tried to break off, but the woman wouldn't let it go, even going so far as to tell Daniel that she was carrying his baby.

"She wouldn't let go. She kept saying she was pregnant, and then my brother, he wanted to find out if she was really pregnant. She was pregnant," William Crespo said. "She was. She's not pregnant. She lost the baby."

Daniel Crespo allegedly confessed to the marital dalliance a year ago and his brother said that the mistress harassed both Daniel and wife Lyvette. William heard the woman calling the morning of the shooting, when Lyvette was present.

Questioned if Lyvette got mad, William said, "Yes. What wife wouldn't get mad?"

Los Angeles County sheriff's officials say Lyvette Crespo shot her husband several times Tuesday after he got into a physical altercation with their 19-year-old son. The 45-year-old mayor was pronounced dead at a hospital.

An attorney for  Lyvette said Thursday his client was a victim of domestic violence but he gave no details of how that might have played a role in the deadly incident.

Lawyer Eber Bayona said Lyvette Crespo has cooperated with authorities since the outset and was released after questioning.

There has been no arrest and no criminal charges thus far.

"I think the evidence will corroborate that she has been a victim of domestic violence for many years," Bayona said.

Claudia Osuna, a lawyer for the Crespos' adult son and daughter, said her clients were standing by their mother. She stated that the son also was a victim of domestic violence.

A biography on the Bell Gardens website said the Crespos were high school sweethearts who married as teenagers in 1986.

Authorities believe the two were fighting when their son, Daniel, tried to intervene and got into a struggle with his father, sheriff's Deputy Crystal Hernandez said. His mother then got a gun and opened fire, Hernandez said.

Bell Gardens, a city of about 43,000, is one of a series of nondescript suburbs southeast of Los Angeles. The 2.5-square mile city is bordered by several other small towns. One is the city of Bell, which became synonymous with municipal corruption after several former officials were convicted of fleecing millions from taxpayers and padding their salaries.

Bell Gardens City Council members serve part-time and rotate the mayor's position among themselves.

Crespo, first elected to the council in 2001, was a Los Angeles County deputy probation officer.

Based on reporting by The Associated Press.

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