A California man has been convicted of manslaughter for beating a 20th Century Fox movie executive who had an affair with his wife to death with his bare hands.
John Creech was acquitted on first- and second-degree murder charges for the killing of Gavin Smith, a 57-year-old when he disappeared in 2012.
Prosecutors said at the beginning of the long-running trial that Creech, now 44, killed Smith, a married father of three, because the distribution executive was having an affair with his wife after they met in a rehabilitation program.
Smith’s car was found in a storage facility connected to Creech nearly a year later.
Brooklyn man guilty of manslaughter after brawl with friend
However, remains for Smith, who was also a member for the 1975 UCLA national chmapion basketball team, were not discovered until October 2014, when hikers came across them in a shallow grave.
The skull was found with blunt force trauma.
A lawyer for the killer, who has been in prison on cocaine charges, said in 2015 that her client began hitting Smith in self-defense after he found him and his wife on a residential Los Angeles street.
Attorney Irene Nuñez said in her closing arguments that Smith had choked Creech and tried to attack him with a weapon similar to an ice pick, the Los Angeles Times reported.
S.I. dealer indicted in death for slinging fentanyl-laced heroin
Creech’s team also said that while he was aware of the affair, he was separated at the time of the death and was involved in another relationship.
Prosecutors said the killing was premeditated and pointed to Creech’s use of an iPhone app to track his wife, though the jury rejected the two murder charges.
Creech faces up to 11 years in prison during sentencing in September.
Send a Letter to the Editor