July 20, 2024 The Best Source of News, Culture, Lifestyle for Culver City, Mar Vista, Del Rey, Palms and West Los Angeles

Trial begins for drug dealer charged with murdering Hollywood exec

(Thinkstock.)
(Thinkstock.)

Arraignment is scheduled today for a convicted drug dealer charged with murdering a 20th Century Fox distribution executive whose body was found in the Antelope Valley in October, about 2 1/2 years after he went missing.

John Lenzie Creech, 42, is charged in connection with the May 2012 killing of Gavin Smith, who played basketball at UCLA in the 1970s.

Smith, 57, was last seen between 9 and 10 p.m. on May 1, 2012, leaving a female friend’s home off Kanan Road in eastern Ventura County in his black 2000 Mercedes-Benz 420 E. The vehicle was recovered on Feb. 21, 2013, at a storage facility in Simi Valley that authorities said was connected to Creech.

Smith’s remains were found in a shallow grave by a man walking with his dog on Oct. 26 in a rural area on the south side of Palmdale near the border with Acton, authorities said.

Creech — who faces a 25-year-to-life term if convicted of first-degree murder — is serving an eight-year jail term for his no contest plea in September 2012 to one count of sale or transportation for sale of a controlled substance, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

After Smith’s remains were found in a shallow grave, sheriff’s Lt. David Dolson described Creech as “still a person of interest.”

In June 2012, detectives and a SWAT team raided a West Hills home owned by Creech. The Los Angeles Times later reported it had obtained documents indicating sheriff’s deputies felt an unspecified felony related to Smith’s disappearance may have happened there.

Smith met Creech’s wife, Chandrika Creech, in some sort of rehab therapy, according to the newspaper, which reported that Creech has denied knowing Smith, despite his wife saying otherwise.

Dolson has said that after detectives found Smith’s car, they served several search warrants in the San Fernando Valley and began investigating the death as a homicide “based on the vehicle’s condition and information developed from persons cooperating in the investigation.”

Related Posts

Cinespia Announces Additional Special Screenings at Hollywood Forever Cemetery

July 19, 2024

July 19, 2024

Featuring Tributes to Paul Reubens and Shelly Duvall and Annual Screenings Cinespia, the popular cinematic experience presented by Amazon MGM...

Michelle Bisnoff Arrested for $2 Million Investor Fraud Scheme

July 19, 2024

July 19, 2024

CEO of ESOS Rings Faces Securities and Wire Fraud Charges A Boca Raton woman was arrested today on charges of...

Felony Battery Suspect Arrested in South Brentwood Sexual Assault on July 16

July 18, 2024

July 18, 2024

26-Year-Old Taken Into Custody After Assault on Gretna Green Way Detectives from the Los Angeles Police Department’s West Los Angeles...

Culver City Opens Nomination Period for City Council Candidates This Week

July 18, 2024

July 18, 2024

Residents Invited to File Nomination Papers from July 15 to August 8  The nomination period for Culver City’s City Council...

(Video) Only One More Saturday Pop Up of Pa’s Biscuitisserie at Cardinale du Vin Left!

July 18, 2024

July 18, 2024

From 9 am to 2 pm, the best biscuits: their tribute to Red Lobster’s Cheddar Bay biscuits and the best...

(Video) Cold Brew Lou Celebrates Three Years at the Motor Avenue Farmers Market With New Coffee Drinks

July 17, 2024

July 17, 2024

Stay cool with Cold Brew Lou’s new creations, orange you curious? Check them out. @culvercitywlanews Cold Brew Lou Celebrates Three...

Danny Boy’s Famous Original’s New Location Now Open in Westwood Village

July 17, 2024

July 17, 2024

Acclaimed Chef Daniel Holzman Brings New York-Style Pizza to Westwood Daniel Holzman, celebrated chef and industry veteran, will open the...

New Restaurant Alert: All Roads Pinseria + Enoteca to Open in Brentwood on July 26

July 17, 2024

July 17, 2024

Roman-Style Eatery Boasts Unique Pinsa and Italian Specialties, Italian Wines Exciting news for the Westside: All Roads Pinseria + Enoteca,...

String of Car Burglaries Reported in Culver City Early Sunday, July 14

July 17, 2024

July 17, 2024

Residents Urged to Check Security Footage and Take Precautions A series of car burglaries occurred in Culver City early Sunday,...

Sexual Assault Reported in South Brentwood, Suspect at Large

July 16, 2024

July 16, 2024

LAPD Confirms Incident, Community Seeks Help to Identify Man A post on Nextdoor this evening reported the shocking news that...

Elon Musk Plans to Move Twitter and SpaceX HQs Out of California

July 16, 2024

July 16, 2024

Move Follows SAFETY Act Being Signed Into Law by Governor  Elon Musk, billionaire and CEO of Twitter, Space X, and...

Judge Issues Final Ruling in Favor of Barrington Plaza Tenants Association

July 16, 2024

July 16, 2024

Decision against Landlord Finds Intent Does Not Meet Ellis Act Standards The final ruling in the case of the Barrington...

Governor Signs Landmark SAFETY Act to Shield LGBTQ+ Students in California Schools

July 15, 2024

July 15, 2024

New Law Prohibits Forced Outing Policies in Schools to Keep Students Safe The Support Academic Futures & Educators for Today’s...

The Donald Kaufman Brentwood Branch Library Celebrates 30th Anniversary with Week of Events

July 15, 2024

July 15, 2024

A Musical Performance, Visit From the Reptile Family and Special Reception The Donald Kaufman Brentwood Branch Library is celebrating its...

Covid-19 Cases, Hospitalizations, and Test Positivity Rates Rise in Latest CDC Reports

July 15, 2024

July 15, 2024

California’s Wastewater COVID-19 Levels Are Very High; JN.1 Variant Dominates Covid 19 is making a comeback this summer, with infection...