Trial Begins in Murder of Fox Executive

(Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department photo of Gavin Smith)

Wednesday mid-day update: the final round of jury selection got a late start. Opening statements could be delayed to the afternoon or Thursday.

Opening statements were set for Wednesday in Downtown Los Angeles in the trial of the man charged with killing a 20th Century Fox entertainment executive and dumping the man’s body in the Angeles National Forest.

Gavin Smith, left, vanished after he left a friend’s house in Oak Park on the night of May 1, 2012.

His body was found by hikers in a remote area of the Angeles National Forest in 2014.

John Lenzie Creech was indicted for Smith’s murder in 2015, while Creech was serving an eight year sentence for drug sales, according to police, prosecutors, and court records.

Witnesses who testified at a grand jury hearing said Smith was ambushed after Creech discovered Smith developed a relationship with Creech’s wife – after the two met while in drug treatment.

Creech’s former defense lawyer said the death was an accident, and said it ‘may’ have happened when the two men were fighting.

The judge said the trial was expected to last about two weeks.

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