Juror: Defendant's claims in Gavin Smith murder trial seemed credible

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- A member of the jury that convicted John Creech of voluntary manslaughter in the death of 20th Century Fox executive Gavin Smith said the defendant seemed credible on the stand as he recalled his version of events.

After the verdict was read, the juror told Eyewitness News that he believes Creech didn't leave his house that day in 2012 with the intent of killing Smith.

"I don't believe this man set out to kill this man. I don't believe that with my whole heart," the juror said.

The jury had been presented with options that included first-degree murder, which could have sent Creech to prison for life. The jury started deliberating on Friday and was split over the issue of guilt.

"We deliberated all the counts from the beginning to the end. We took votes first of all on what we thought. As we reviewed the facts the jurors began to be swayed different ways."

The jury returned Monday to deliberate, with one missing juror replaced by an alternate. Those deliberations only took about another hour.

Creech said he went looking for his estranged wife, Chandrika Cade, that night in May 2012, using a phone app to track her down. He said it was an app that his wife had installed to track him.

A violent fight broke out between the two men, resulting in Smith's death. Creech claimed on the stand that Smith was the aggressor, choking him, gouging his eyes out and using a shiny object from the car to strike him.

Prosecutors said Creech lied about details of that night and said they were disappointed he was not found guilty of higher charges.

Cade witnessed the fight and testified about it with a grant of immunity. Asked how many times Creech punched Smith, she said: "Honestly, too many times to count. More than a dozen."

She said she initially kept quiet about the confrontation because she was afraid of Creech, a convicted drug dealer and bodybuilder, saying he had beaten her in the past.

Cade was involved with Smith on and off for about two years.

The juror told Eyewitness News he thought Cade shared some blame.

"They should have put his wife on trial," the juror said. "She is the one who kept it going."
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