John Lenzie Creech, the man convicted of killing 20th Century Fox film distribution executive Gavin Smith, was sentenced today the maximum of 11 years in prison for voluntary manslaughter. It brings to a close the saga of Smith, who was killed in May 2012, with his body found 2 1/2 years later in the Angeles National Forest.
Creech was convicted in July after the L.A. District attorney sought first- or second-degree murder charges. Prosecutors said he killed Smith in the West Hills area of the San Fernando Valley near Creech’s home; Smith had been having an affair with Creech’s wife after they had met in rehab.
Smith, 57, who won a national championship playing under Coach John Wooden at UCLA before his 18-year career at Fox, went missing late on the evening of May 1, 2012. In the subsequent search his black Mercedes 420E was found in a Simi Valley, CA, storage locker belonging to Creech, leading police to the convicted drug dealer.
Creech insisted he never meant to kill Smith but did acknowledge at trial “full responsibility” for not doing anything to help Smith or contact the authorities. He also admitted to burying Smith’s body and stashing his car.