Son of slain California mayor says mother was 'defending herself'

Reuters News
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Posted: Oct 08, 2014 5:26 AM

(Reuters) - The son of a slain Los Angeles-area mayor told police that his mother was acting in self defense when she shot his father, according to 911 tape released on Tuesday.

The emotional recording reveals a scene of anguish following the Sept. 30 shooting of Bell Gardens Mayor Daniel Crespo.

Someone can be heard wailing and sobbing loudly in the background before a person hurriedly tells the police dispatcher that his mother shot his father while trying to protect herself.

"It wasn't my mom's fault. She was defending herself," said the 19-year-old son, Daniel Crespo Jr., according to a copy of the recording published online by the Los Angeles Times.

"He hurt me. He's on the floor dying. OK? He hurt me," the son says.

Daniel Crespo was shot multiple times by his wife Levette after their son intervened in an argument they were having and got into a fight with his father, officials with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said.

Crespo was pronounced dead at a local hospital, sheriff's officials said.

Both Levette and Daniel Crespo Jr. were questioned by authorities and released. No arrests have been made in the case, though officials are continuing to investigate.

The couple, who have two adult children, had been married since 1986, a county spokesman said. In addition to serving as mayor of Bell Gardens, Crespo worked as a Los Angeles County probation officer for over 20 years.

Levette Crespo's lawyer told reporters outside Bell Gardens City Hall last week that the stay-at-home mother was a victim in the case along with her husband, adding that she had been abused by him for years.

Bell Gardens is about 10 miles (16 km) southeast of Los Angeles, spanning about 2-1/2 square miles with a population of about 45,000.

(Reporting by Curtis Skinner in San Francisco; Editing by Crispian Balmer)