The family attorney for Daniel Crespo, the Bell Gardens mayor gunned down by his wife, said Tuesday prosecutors should have charged her with first degree murder instead of voluntary manslaughter.
James Devitt, the attorney for Daniel Crespo's brother, Lyvette Crespo's claims of being a battered wife should not have been resolved with a gun.
"Her remedy was to divorce, not a 9 mm (gun)," said Devitt, after reviewing grand jury documents unsealed Monday. He has filed a $53 million civil wrongful death lawsuit against Lyvette Crespo.
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He said from the grand jury documents it's clear Lyvette Crespo planned Daniel's killing as the documents laid out a clear motive for murder.
Devitt pointed to text messages from Lyvette threatening to kill Daniel if he cheated again.
Lyvette shot Daniel at their home last fall after an argument with their son.
She claimed self-defense, but the attorney Tuesday said that argument doesn't hold up because the fighting was over when the shooting happened.
The documents painted a twisted story of affairs, abuse and violence between the couple for nearly their entire marriage.
Lyvette has claimed she was a victim of abuse for years. Devitt said it's no excuse for murder.
"I feel bad for battered wives and girlfriends but the remedy is not to kill them but to get a restraining order," Devitt said.
Her attorney had no comment on Devitt's claims.
She is scheduled to be back in court later this month. She has pleaded not guilty to voluntary manslaughter charges.