Lynn DeJac Exonerated

Title

Lynn DeJac Exonerated

Description

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.

Date

2007-11-28
2014-6-18

Source

Rich Newberg Reports Collection

Publisher

WIVB (Television Station: Buffalo, N.Y.)
Buffalo & Erie County Public Library (publisher of digital)

Rights

Copyright held by WIVB-TV. Access to this digital version provided by the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library. Videos or images in this collection are not to be used for any commercial purposes without the expressed written permission of WIVB-TV and the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library. Users of this website are free to utilize material from this collection for non-commercial and educational purposes.