Lynn DeJac Exonerated


Lynn DeJac Exonerated


Lynn DeJac of Buffalo, New York served thirteen years in prison for a crime she did not commit. In 1994 she was wrongly convicted of murdering her fourteen-year-old daughter, Crystallynn Girard.

In 2007, DeJac’s conviction was vacated after Buffalo Police cold case detective Dennis Delano brought forth DNA evidence he claimed linked DeJac’s ex-boyfriend, Dennis Donohue, to Crystallynn’s death. Donohue could not be charged because he had testified before a grand jury and was granted immunity from prosecution. However, he was later convicted of murdering a woman he had once dated.

DeJac, according to the Innocence Project, became the first woman to be exonerated of murdering someone based on DNA evidence. She had given birth to twin boys while behind bars and later married their father, Chuck Peters, while serving her sentence. She also had an older, estranged son, Edward.

WIVB-TV Senior Correspondent Rich Newberg and News 4 Chief Photographer Mike Mombrea Jr. were with DeJac the day of her release and also documented the reunion with her family. During a live interview that evening, DeJac told Newberg, "The truth will set me free." 

Shortly after the state of New York paid DeJac a settlement of $2.7 million dollars, she was diagnosed with cancer. She died at age fifty on June 18, 2014. Her husband and twin sons, Keith and Douglas were with their mother when she passed away.




Rich Newberg Reports Collection


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