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A convicted drug dealer was charged Thursday with the murder of former 20th Century Fox executive Gavin Smith, who disappeared in 2012, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.
John Lenzie Creech, 42, is serving an eight-year sentence after pleading no contest to one count of sale or transportation for sale of a controlled substance in September 2012. He’s set to be arraigned Monday on charges of murdering Smith on May 2, 2012, the D.A’s office said Thursday. If he’s convicted of Smith’s murder, Creech faces 25 years to life in state prison.
Smith, 57, was last seen on May 1, 2012, leaving a friend’s home in Oak Park, in Ventura County, not far from Smith’s Calabasas office. His black Mercedes-Benz E420 was found on Feb. 21, 2013, at a Simi Valley storage facility connected to Creech. After his Mercedes was found, police began treating the case as a homicide. Smith was allegedly having an affair with Creech’s wife.
At a press conference in early November, Det. Dave Dolson of the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department’s Homicide Bureau explained that there was evidence in Smith’s car that indicated he was killed in the vehicle, revealing that the body had suffered “some blunt force trauma.” Dolson also confirmed that Smith and Creech’s wife had a relationship.
Smith was declared dead in May 2014, and in October his remains were discovered in Angeles National Forest, which covers more than 1,000 square miles north of Los Angeles. Smith was found in a shallow grave near the border of Palmdale and Acton.
The former UCLA basketball player was an 18-year veteran of Fox’s distribution department.
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