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By Emily Anne Epstein
PUBLISHED: 14:04 GMT, 3 October 2012 | UPDATED: 20:42 GMT, 3 October 2012
David Crespi plead guilty to brutally stabbing his five-year-old twin daughters to death, but there is one person that still believes he’s innocent: their mother.
Kimberli Crespi has fought for her husband from the beginning, forgiving him for his horrific crime in 2006 and now she wants to share their story with the world.
Mrs Crespi believes Crespi killed their girls because he was misdiagnosed with a personality disorder and put on a cocktail of drugs which in turn, caused a psychotic episode.
Treatment, not prison, is the answer, she says.
‘We live for them, we live for their sweetness, we long for them, but the reality is they’re not in this life,’ Mrs Crespi said to WBTV.
Tessara Kate Crespi and Samantha Joy Crespi were born to David and Kimberli on October 17, 2000 in Sacramento, California. They would have turned 12 years old this month.
Tessa’s favorite color was purple and she loved to dance. Sammie loved lambs, pink poodles and her favorite color was blue.
They were two of five children in the Crespi family when they moved to North Carolina.
Then on January 20, 2006, David Crespi killed them in a violent outburst: stabbing them 32 times. A knife was found stuck in the body of one of them.
David Crespi called 911 and was arrested at the scene. In order to avoid the death penalty, he plead guilty to both their deaths and was sentenced to two consecutive life terms in July of 2006.
Mrs Crespi makes sure to visit him every week.
‘I can’t believe it,’ she told the Charlotte Observer of her husband’s imprisonment.
‘When I visit, I’m like, “How could David Crespi be in prison?” He’s a good person. For him to do this is unbelievable. He was such a good dad. But it happened.’
‘It’s horrible, it’s absolutely horrible what happened to Tess and Sam and to David but it’s just easier for society to leave him in prison and act like that and walk away.’
Mrs Crespi says that a cocktail of newly prescribed drugs, which included Ambien, Trazadone, Prozac and Lunesta.
She believes a chemical imbalance caused the crime, not Crespi’s actions.
‘It wouldn’t have happened without the prescriptions. David Crespi never acted like this ever in his life,’ said Mrs Crespi to WSOCTV.
However, Marsha Goodenow, the chief homicide prosecutor, said that Crespi testified he had violent thoughts before he ever began taking the pills.
‘He was asked, “Did you have these thoughts when you were on the medication or off the medication,” and he said “both,”‘ she told 20/20 in an earlier interview.
‘You can’t say that someone who would do this to their own daughters isn’t sick. Obviously he’s sick, but sickness does not excuse criminal behavior.’
Mrs Crespi said she still mourns her little girls, but being deprived of her husband has caused even more pain. The couple has been married 16 years.
‘He should not be punished. He didn’t have free will at the time when he did this,’ she told the Charlotte Observer.
She has become a champion of anti-depressant awareness, trying to educate others about the dangers of medications.
David Crespi has since been weened off all pills, Mrs Crespi said. He’s ‘back to his old self.’
‘David is a lovely person who one day did something horrible, and I would like that to not happen to somebody else. If it happened to us, I think it can happen to anybody,’ she said.
She is leading a lecture on the side effects of antidepressants on Thursday, October 11 at the South Charlotte Banquet Center.
‘It’s horrible, it’s absolutely horrible what happened to Tess and Sam and to David but it’s just easier for society to leave him in prison and act like that and walk away,’ she said. to WBTV.
Original article no longer available
Crespi to plead guilty to murder
10:25 AM EDT on Sunday, July 16, 2006
By GARY L. WRIGHT / The Charlotte Observer
Father expected to serve life in prison for killing twin daughters
David Crespi, who confessed to killing his 5-year-old twins in January, has agreed to plead guilty to murder and spend the rest of his life in prison, the Observer has learned.
The 45-year-old bank executive is expected to plead guilty, perhaps later this month, to two counts of first-degree murder in the stabbing deaths of daughters Samantha and Tessara.
Crespi, who told police he was struggling with depression when he killed the twins, would then avoid a capital murder trial and possible death sentence. He’d be sentenced to life in prison without parole.
Mecklenburg District Attorney Peter Gilchrist refused to talk about any deal with Crespi. “It’s improper for me to discuss any possibility of how this case will be resolved,” he said.
But Crespi’s attorneys say prosecutors have told them they will not seek the death penalty if the father of five pleads guilty.
In his confession, Crespi told homicide detectives that his battles with depression had triggered thoughts of killing his children, wife and parents, and even running down strangers with his car.
He also had worried about losing his job as a senior vice president in Wachovia’s audit division. He thought he was in financial trouble and that he had failed to adequately care for his family. Killing the twins, he believed, would somehow end those worries.
Crespi also told the detectives he knew what he had done was wrong.
Kim Crespi doesn’t want her husband put on trial for his life.
“I do not believe that taking David’s life could in any way make right what went so tragically wrong on Jan. 20,” Kim Crespi said in a prepared statement. “Seeking the death penalty for David would be yet another layer of injury upon our already deeply hurt family.”
Her family is thankful, she said, that her husband didn’t take his own life.
“His life will be of value wherever he is on earth, including in prison,” she wrote. “When there is life there is hope for healing.”
Prosecutors might have had a hard time convincing 12 jurors that Crespi should die. Weighing against a death sentence, defense lawyers believe, would be Crespi’s history of mental illness, absence of previous violent behavior and Kim Crespi’s opposition to her husband being tried for his life.
Still, a death-penalty trial was a risk defense lawyers felt Crespi couldn’t take.
Defense attorneys Jim Cooney and Jean Lawson say Crespi was overwhelmed by his mental illness on the day he stabbed his daughters to death.
“David committed these acts while in the midst of a psychotic episode,” Cooney told the Observer. “He will pay for them with the rest of his life.”
Cooney and Lawson said that during Crespi’s battle against mental illness over the past 20 years, he and his wife did all they could to seek help.
But the medication he was given, they said, was insufficient.
“They followed every treatment plan given to them, and David took every medication prescribed to him,” Lawson said. “Unfortunately … only after the deaths of Samantha and Tessara was David diagnosed with psychotic depression and features of bipolar mental illness.
“In light of these diagnoses, his prior treatment and medication were completely inadequate to control his mental illness.”
Defense lawyers have obtained medical documents showing that Crespi had been taking Paxil for his depression, Trazodone for anxiety and Ambien to help him sleep.
But he gained more than 50 pounds while on Paxil and no longer wanted to take the antidepressant. In January, Crespi began taking Prozac.
He still couldn’t sleep. The day before the killings, medical records show, he was taken off Ambien and Trazodone and put on Lunesta, a sleep aid.
Defense lawyers believe Crespi’s statement to detectives shows he was delusional and irrational in the days leading up to the twins’ killings.
Crespi, the defense attorneys said, was not in financial trouble and wasn’t in jeopardy of losing his job. He was earning six figures at Wachovia.
Crespi also told detectives on the day of the killings that he worried he wouldn’t get a bonus in February from the bank. He said he received a $45,000 bonus last year.
Just weeks after the twins’ killings, the family learned that Wachovia had already approved his biggest bonus ever.
During the plea hearing, defense lawyers are expected to put on evidence that a psychiatrist has concluded Crespi is competent to enter the guilty pleas.
The judge will question Crespi about his decision to plead guilty, his rights to a jury trial and whether he is in fact guilty. The judge also will ask Crespi if he understands what he is doing and the consequences of his guilty pleas.
Kim Crespi, meanwhile, has been visiting her husband almost every week at Raleigh’s Central Prison, where he is being held in a mental hospital unit. The Crespis’ 18-year-old daughter, Jessica, graduated from high school last month.
Kim Crespi said she hopes one day to understand her husband’s illness and how similar tragedies can be avoided.
“David is a sweet, caring, life-affirming, nonviolent man who deeply loves and cares for his family,” she said.
“How he could do such horrific and uncharacteristic acts is beyond reason for those who knew him.”