Inside the Erie County Holding Center, in separate cells, sit two people who are still very much connected. Dennis Donohue is here on charges of murdering Joan Giambra, but he's also the man Buffalo's Cold Case Squad points to as the possible killer of 13-year-old Crystalynn Girard. Lynn DeJac is also at this jail serving time for a conviction of killing her daughter Crystalynn, but all of that could change on Wednesday.
7 News Reporter Jenny Rizzo visited Lynn DeJac at the jail yesterday and has more tonight from her one-on-one interview behind bars.
Lynn DeJac has spent the last 13 years thinking about what happened back in 1993. She maintains her innocence and her connection to Crystalynn. "I talk to her sometimes. In the beginning, I saw her all the time," she said. The mention of her daughter made her eyes well up with tears as she recounted what it's been like.
"You have to understand the pain. I'm not afraid of death because when I'm gone all this pain ends." DeJac talked about the ripple effects of her incarceration on her family. Her son, Ed, was a young boy when Crystalynn was killed and DeJac was pregnant with twin boys during the ensuing trial. After she gave birth, they were placed in a foster home. "I never even got to bond with my babies," she said. DeJac married Chuck Peters before she was convicted and she says he fought hard to get custody of their children. They appeared with him in court for last week's court hearing about a possible re-trial.
Theirs is a family unfinished, and DeJac is both anxious and apprehensive about a reunion that could happen in the near future. "Its scary, no doubt its scary. But my husband says that everyone is willing to have their arms open."
First though, an Erie County judge has to rule on a motion requesting a new trial. DeJac's attorny, Andrew LoTempio, is asking for one because of newly discovered DNA evidence that places Dennis Donohue at the crime scene. Donohue was DeJac's boyfriend at the time of the murder, something she now regrets. "I only dated him for a month. I thought he was possessive," she said.
If the judge decides the new evidence could have changed the outcome of the jury's verdict, then Lynn DeJac could be released from jail to wait for the new trial. Its something she is praying for. "Now it's 14 years later, how do you begin to make up for those 14 years?"