BELL GARDENS, Calif. (KABC) -- The attorney for the wife of Bell Gardens Mayor Daniel Crespo stressed Thursday that Lyvette Crespo was a "battered wife," and that the family was living a secret life of torment.
Lyvette Crespo has not been charged for shooting her 45-year-old husband.
During a news conference, attorney Eber Bayona said the mayor's wife was a victim of domestic violence.
"For 26 years, she has been a devoted wife and a devoted mother to her family. Looks, at times, may be deceiving," Bayona said. "I think the evidence will corroborate that she has been a victim of domestic violence for many years."
When asked if she was a "battered wife," Bayona replied, "Yes."
However, William Crespo, the mayor's brother, said the domestic abuse claim was a lie. He says Lyvette Crespo is merely playing the battered wife to stay out of jail.
Daniel Crespo died Tuesday after a physical altercation at home ended with the shooting. Lyvette Crespo was detained and questioned for hours, then released.
"My client, from the initial 911 call throughout the entire length of this investigation, will cooperate fully with law enforcement," Bayona said.
Claudia Osuna, who is representing the Crespo children, also spoke briefly at the news conference to say that the children stand behind their mother.
"Things were not as they seemed," she said. "It was a very difficult life (at) home that they had."
Bell Gardens mayor's wife was battered for years, attorney says