The mother of a California mayor killed by his wife last month filed a lawsuit on Monday saying her daughter-in-blood did not act in self-defense but with “malice and in cold blood.”
Otilia Santos, the mother of former Bell Gardens Mayor Daniel Crespo, filed a wrongful death lawsuit against her son’s then-wife, Lyvette, who shot and killed her husband during a dispute in their home, police say. Crespo’s wife of 28 years claims she had long been a victim of domestic violence and killed him to protect her 19-year-old son, who intervened during the squabble.
"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 claims, according to Courthouse News Service. "Lyvette Crespo is a cold-blooded killer."
The suit demands more than $53 million in damages.
Lyvette has not been charged in the killing. She has cooperated with authorities and was released after questioning.
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"I think the evidence will corroborate that she has been a victim of domestic violence for many years," her lawyer, Eber Bayona, said after the Sept. 30 killing.
But the lawsuit claims that the two argued after Lyvette refused to let her husband take a nap. She then picked a fight with him and became violent, the suit says.
"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 lawsuit claims.
Bayona told the Los Angeles Times that the lawsuit and the allegations it makes are bogus.
"I don't know where [the lawyer is] getting his facts," Bayona told the paper. "There were only three people present."