A convicted drug dealer was sentenced Tuesday in California to 11 years in prison in the beating death of a movie studio executive who had been having an affair with his wife.
John Lenzie Creech, 45, was convicted in July of voluntary manslaughter in the killing of Gavin Smith, a 20th Century Fox distribution executive.
Smith’s body was found in a shallow desert grave two years after he was reported missing in 2012.
Case closed: Drug dealer John Lenzie Creech (left), 42, has been jailed for 11 years with the 2012 murder of 57-year-old Hollywood movie studio executive Gavin Smith (right) Creech was convicted in July of voluntary manslaughter
A jury rejected first- and second-degree murder charges.
Before sentencing, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Stephen A. Marcus called Creech ‘a cold and cruel person,’ saying his actions had been “egregious, heartless, callous.”
‘Mr. Creech has shown no remorse in this case whatsoever,’ the judge said. ‘He has attempted to sort of paint himself as the total victim in this case and the court does not find, in my view of the evidence, that that’s true.’
Prosecutors said Creech killed Smith because Smith was having an affair with Creech’s estranged wife, Chandrika Cade. She and Creech had met in drug rehab and been in a sporadic affair for years.
Creech, seen here pictured in July 2017, has now been jailed for 11 years for the voluntary manslaughter of Gavin Smith,
In May 2012, they were having a romantic rendezvous inside Smith’s Mercedes-Benz sedan in a Los Angeles neighborhood when Creech found them through an iPhone app that allowed him to track his wife’s phone.
In the fight that followed, Creech crushed Smith’s skull on both sides, according to an autopsy.
Nearly a year later, the Mercedes, with Smith’s blood on it, was found in a storage facility connected to Creech.
Smith was married and had three sons. His wife Lisa appealed for his return when he went missing in 2012. Here he is pictured with their two older sons Dylan and Evan
Creech (above during his trial in 2015) faces up to 11 years imprisonment when he is sentenced
In November 2014, hikers discovered his remains in a shallow grave in the desert north of Los Angeles.
Creech was already in jail by then to serving an eight year sentence for an unrelated charge which he was convicted of in 2012, after Smith’s death.
In February 2015, he pleaded not guilty to a first degree murder charge, claiming he was acting in self defense when he accidentally killed the man.
Creech testified that Smith had thrown the first punch and he defended himself.
He said they were having a fight when he hit him as he sat in the car with Chandrika.
Chandrika, who divorced him after his arrest, testified against him during his trial.
She described him as violent and difficult to live with but said she put up with his outbursts.
Creech was serving an eight-year sentence for the sale or transportation of drugs when he was indicted for the killing.