LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- As a high-profile trial over the murder of a movie executive continues, the ex-wife of the suspect who was a witness to the killing took the stand with compelling testimony.
Chandrika Cade testified that her ex-husband, defendant John Creech, lashed out over a four-year period when she had an on-and-off affair with 20th Century Fox movie executive Gavin Smith.
She said she feared Creech, but stayed with him despite the punishing outbursts.
"Just really rough with me. Just hustling me around and hitting me in the face," Cade said.
The rivalry between Creech and Smith culminated when both Cade and Smith were estranged from their respective spouses. Creech followed Cade to a late-night rendezvous, which she said resulted in a bloody flurry of punches that ended Smith's life.
"Honestly, too many times to count. More than a dozen," she said of the fight. "He wasn't fighting back or anything. He wasn't even pushing away. He wasn't moving at all..."
Cade said that she fled the scene as her lover was out cold.
She testified under grant of immunity. She said she later burned the clothes off Smith's body and talked about how Creech enlisted friends to hide Smith's blood-smeared car and his body. Hikers would eventually find Smith's remains in a shallow grave more than two years later.
Creech's defense asked Cade why she didn't go to the police.
"Because I thought I'd get in trouble for telling them later instead of immediately," Cade said.
The defense attacked Cade's credibility, referring to an email from Smith that said she was hanging on to Creech not because she feared his wrath, but for his money.
Creech's defense maintains that Smith was the aggressor and that Creech was just trying to protect himself.
Ex-wife of suspect in Fox executive murder trial discusses spousal abuse, love affair