BUFFALO, N.Y., Nov. 25 (UPI) -- A woman wrongly convicted of murdering her 13-year-old daughter has filed a $30 million lawsuit against Buffalo, N.Y., police and prosecutors, records show.
Lynn M. DeJac Peters was convicted of killing Crystallynn Girard in April 1994, and spent 14 years in prison before her conviction was overturned, The Buffalo News reported.
The conviction against DeJac Peters was overturned in November 2007 after the district attorney's office re-examined the case, and a forensic pathologist determined the girl died from a head injury and a cocaine overdose.
Police and prosecutors first thought the girl was strangled in her bed at her home in South Buffalo. DeJac Peters said her former boyfriend, Dennis Donohue, killed her.
"The evidence was right in front of everybody's nose that Dennis Donohue was guilty of this crime," said Steven Cohen, an attorney for DeJac Peters. "They ignored all the evidence against him, went after Lynn and gave him immunity. ... Why they did that, I do not know."
Donohue, now 57, was never charged with the girl's death. He was granted immunity from prosecution when he testified about the death before a grand jury.
He later was convicted of the 1993 strangulation of Joan Giambra of South Buffalo, and is serving 25 years to life for that slaying.
"I just hope this lawsuit will prevent this kind of injustice from happening to anyone else," said DeJac Peters, 47. "There aren't words in the English language dictionary to describe everything I have been through."