Man Accused of Killing Fox Executive Gavin Smith Found Guilty of Manslaughter

John Creech, pictured here during the closing arguments in his case, was found guilty of killing Gavin Smith, a Fox executive. (Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

Los Angeles jury convicted a drug dealer Monday of voluntary manslaughter in the beating death of his wife’s lover — a 20th Century Fox executive whose body was found in the desert more than two years after he disappeared.

But the jury found him not guilty of more serious charges, including first and second-degree murder.

Prosecutors say John Creech beat Gavin Smith to death after catching him and Creech’s wife in a romantic tryst. Smith and Chandrika Cade began an on-and-off affair in 2008 when prosecutors say they met at a drug rehab facility.

Creech, 44, stashed Smith’s bloody car in a self-storage unit in Simi Valley and buried Smith’s body in a shallow grave outside Palmdale. Hikers stumbled upon his bones more than two years after he disappeared on May 1, 2012.

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