GAVIN SMITH CASE: Accused murderer appears in court; arraignment continued

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After a nearly three-year investigation, a convicted drug dealer charged with the murder of Fox executive Gavin Smith appeared in front of a judge Monday. (KABC)

After a nearly three-year investigation, a convicted drug dealer charged with the murder of Fox executive Gavin Smith appeared in court Monday.

John Creech, 42, was scheduled to appear to his formal arraignment Monday, but it was postponed to Feb. 26.

Still, he appeared before a judge and his defense attorney Alex Kessel said Creech and Smith clashed, but that his client did not murder Smith.

"There may have been a fight, but I can tell you there was no criminal intent, there was no malice, there was no intent, no premeditation," Kessel said.

Smith disappeared in May 2012 after he was last seen visiting a female friend in eastern Ventura County. His black Mercedez-Benz was found in 2013 at a storage facility in Simi Valley that was connected to Creech. Smith's remains were found last October in a shallow grave in a remote area just south of Palmdale.

Kessel said that Creech did not know Smith, but that Creech's wife did. Kessel also hinted at some type of love triangle between the three.

"From what I know, (Smith and Creech's wife) met each other in a rehab and they dated on a few occasions," he said.

Smith's wife and youngest son watched Monday as Creech made his first appearance on the case. He is serving time in jail on a cocaine charge.

Kessel believes there is someone still outstanding that knows much more about how Smith's body ended up in the shallow grave.

Prosecutors are not discussing what other evidence they have that links Creech to Smith.

Creech's bail is set at $1 million, and he has years to still serve on his drug charge.


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