The wife of then-Bell Gardens, California, Mayor Daniel Crespo fatally shot him three times in the chest while the two fought more than two months ago, according to the autopsy report released Friday.
Daniel Crespo, 45, was shot by his wife, Lyvette, Sept. 30 in their home, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.
Deputies said Crespo and his wife were arguing, and their 19-year-old son intervened, leading to a struggle between the mayor and his son that ended when Lyvette Crespo opened fire.
She admitted she shot her husband but that it was in self-defense during a fight in which he punched their 19-year-old son in the face, deputies said.
Lyvette Crespo was questioned by deputies, but released after claiming self-defense.
Her attorney, who declined to comment Friday, has contended that she was a longtime victim of domestic violence and shot Daniel Crespo in defense of herself and her son.
Daniel Crespo's daughter told investigators that he was verbally and physically abusive to her mother for over 20 years, according to the autopsy by the Los Angeles County Coroner's Office.
The abuse had become more physical in the last two years.
Crespo and his wife were not sleeping in the same bedroom and he "was known to drag her by the hair to force her to do so," the autopsy report said.
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The injuries were not enough to require medical attention and the incidents were not reported, the autopsy said.
He had threatened to kill her and the children if she tried to report the abuse, according to the daughter.
Crespo's mistress had been reportedly making annoying phone calls to the wife at home and her parents had been arguing over his infidelity.
The report also said that Crespo owned handguns and had kept them locked in the home until recent years, when he began leaving them unlocked, his daughter told detectives.
A 9 mm handgun and three expended cartridges were recovered at the shooting scene.
At a news conference, Crespo's brother, William, denied the abuse claim, calling the killing a murder. He has filed a $50 million wrongful death lawsuit against Lyvette Crespo.
"I just want to curl up in a ball every morning," William Crespo said at a news conference Friday. "I just think I'm going to wake up and my brother is going to be here."
He said the autopsy report does not support the notion that Crespo's wife shot him in self-defense.
He also said he was disappointed that Lyvette Crespo has not been arrested or charged.
"It's sad," he said. "It's wrong because it is just showing that you know you can get away with murder. Killing your husband is wrong. There was a lot of other ways, she could have called 911."
William Crespo has said that Lyvette was trained with firearms.
His attorney, James Devitt, said he received a copy of the autopsy report about a week ago, and he claims it does not support Lyvette's claim of self-defense.
He said he is hopeful that District Attorney Jackie Lacey, whose office is reviewing the case, will charge Lyvette Crespo.
Lacey has "assigned a very tough prosecutor to this case and I have a feeling we're going to have an indictment or an arrest by Christmas, is my hope," Devitt said.
Asher Klein and City News Service contributed to this report.