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Wife of slain Bell Gardens mayor acted reasonably, attorney says

Wife of slain Bell Gardens mayor acted reasonably, attorney says
A small memorial sits near the front gate of the Bell Gardens complex where Mayor Daniel Crespo was shot and killed allegedly by his wife, Levette, according to officials. (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

An attorney for the wife of slain Bell Gardens Mayor Daniel Crespo said Wednesday that his client acted reasonably and likely will not be criminally charged.

The lawyer, Eber Bayona, spoke after Los Angeles County sheriff's officials said Levette Crespo shot her husband on Tuesday during a confrontation at the couple's Bell Gardens condominium.

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FOR THE RECORD

An earlier version of this post incorrectly spelled Eber Bayona's last name as "Bayon."

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"Domestic violence and battered woman's syndrome is at the center of this case," Bayon said. He did not elaborate.

Los Angeles County sheriff's officials say the Crespos' 19-year-old son intervened during the argument and that Daniel Crespo punched the teen in the face. Levette Crespo grabbed her husband's handgun and shot him three times in the upper body, said Sheriff's Lt. Steve Jauch, who is overseeing the investigation.

That account of the shooting, investigators said, was based on interviews with the mayor's wife and son. Jauch said detectives were working to establish whether forensic evidence matched what the pair told them.

Daniel Crespo Jr. and his mother had visible facial injuries that required medical treatment, sheriff's officials said. Law enforcement sources said that when the mayor's son was questioned by investigators, he backed up his mother's claims that she shot Crespo to save the teen.

The pair were released after questioning. Investigators said they would wait for the district attorney's office to determine whether charges were warranted.

For more Southern California crime news, follow @lacrimes on Twitter.

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