(Above: John Creech listens as a judge in L.A. imposes sentence on Tuesday. Court pool photo by Al Seib/Los Angeles Times)
A convicted drug dealer was sentenced Tuesday to 11-years in prison for killing a former Fox Entertainment executive.
“You are a cold and cruel person,” Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Stephen Marcus told John Creech before imposing the maximum term for voluntary manslaughter.
Creech was convicted in July of killing Gavin Smith in May, 2012, though jurors rejected the most serious counts of first or second degree murder.
Creech claimed he accidentally killed Smith during a fistfight that started when Creech said he caught Smith with his wife in a parked car.
“Self defense has nothing to do with this,” Judge Marcus said.
“It doesn’t matter what the verdict of the jury was, your actions speak volumes about the kind of person that you are,” the judge said.
(Above: Gavin Smith's widow Lisa asks the judge for the maximum sentence. Court pool photo by Al Seib/Los Angeles Times)
“Our family has suffered immeasurable pain,” said Smith’s wife Lisa, as she urged the judge to impose the maximum sentence.
“I hope he spends the rest of his life in prison, he shouldn’t be amongst us, he should be walled like the animal he is,” she said.
Creech was already serving time on a drug case and will serve the remainder of that sentence while serving the new 11-year term.
Officials said he also faces a new federal drug prosecution that could lead to an even longer prison term.
Creech testified during the trial that he, “made mistakes,” after killing Smith, by burning evidence, hiding Smith’s car, and burying the body in the Angeles National Forest.
Hikers found Smith’s remains in 2014.
(Below: Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney Bobby Grace said Smith's family was understandably frustrated with the jury's manslaughter verdict)