Kim Crespi’s home is filled with angels. There are wooden angels, iron angels and ceramic angels.
There are angels on the walls, on furniture and in most artwork that decorates the house in southeast Mecklenburg County. But what’s telling about the angels is they are not alone. They are always in pairs – each set, a reminder of what Crespi calls a perfect life.
“I think they were adorable and brought a lot of joy to our family,” said Crespi, as she looked at pictures of her deceased twin daughters, Sam and Tess.
The angels and pictures filling every space in the Crespi home are a tribute to her twin daughters. Crespi’s husband, David, entered a guilty plea to stabbing and killing the 5-year-old girls in January 2006, in their home south of Matthews.
Kim Crespi said at the time David was on a “cocktail” of prescription drugs, including Prozac.
“I miss them every day,” Kim Crespi said. “I feel like they died and their lives ended, but they are still a part of our family.”
By pleading guilty to murder, David Crespi avoided any chance of the death penalty, instead receiving a sentence of life without chance of parole. He has been in several different prisons and is now serving time in a prison unit near New London, in northern Stanly County.
Kim Crespi and the couple’s three older children have remained in the home where they all once lived together.
“I can’t believe it,” she said, 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.”
She said she visits her husband every week or two and believes the medication caused him to have a “psychotic episode” at the time of the twins’ deaths. She said her husband has been off all medications for several years and is “back to his old self.”
She is working to have him freed and would like to have his plea set aside, so he could have a trial, and a jury could rule on whether prescription drugs caused him to snap.
“He was anxious and sleep-deprived,” Kim Crespi said. “The medications took him to this place of depression.”
When asked if six years in prison is enough for killing the girls, Kim Crespi said, “It’s way too much. He should not be punished. He didn’t have free will at the time when he did this.”
She is starting a website, in an effort to explain her husband’s story and to warn people about what she calls the dangers of prescription medications – especially antidepressants. Next week, she will host a seminar on the topic. That seminar will feature another father who killed his child.
In 2009, a judge in Canada found David Carmichael “not criminally responsible on account of a mental disorder” for the murder of his 11-year-old son, Ian. He is free now, writing and giving lectures on the dangers of antidepressants.
Bill Stetzer of the district attorney’s office said it is rare – but not impossible – for a plea to be set aside in a murder case. For a judge to do so, Stetzer said, would require proof that the plea was a “manifest injustice,” or greatly unfair. Stetzer said that in all murder pleas, defendants are asked if they were on any medication and if their minds are “clear.”