BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - A mother spent 13 years behind bars, convicted of killing her own daughter. However, DNA evidence proved she didn't do it, and after suing New York State, the two sides have settled.
Lynn Dejac Peters has won a $2.7 million settlement for her wrongful imprisonment in the 1993 murder of her daughter Crystallyn. Dejac was asking for $14 million. Her guilty verdict was vacated four years ago when new DNA evidence came to light.
Dejac Peters' attorney Steven Cohen said, "We're dealing with compensating Lynn for what she has been forced to endure, as a result of the wrongful incarceration."
The settlement was announced at a press conference on Tuesday. Dejac Peters was not present because she recently underwent oral surgery.
Her husband, Chuck Peters, said, "Well, nothing can repay the 14 years we lost, but what we're trying to do is just put our lives back together and just get on with our lives the best we can."
Dejac Peters always denied killing her daughter Crystallyn Girard. When DNA evidence later proved it was unclear who the killer actually was, her sentence was vacated.
In a previous interview, Dejac Peters said, "It seems like every time something is convenient for them, is when it changes. But you want to know something? Anything I've ever said never changed, because it's been the truth from day one."
Cohen demanded at least $14 million from the state. The state, however, called that number far fetched, saying it would "result in an award far greater than any amount the state has ever paid to settle a wrongful conviction case."
This is just one part of Dejac Peters' fight for compensation. She has also filed a $30 million federal lawsuit against Erie County, the City of Buffalo and 14 individuals involved in the case against her.
Dejac Peters' attorney believes there was a massive cover up by Erie County, the City of Buffalo and 14 people to protect Dejac's former boyfriend Dennis Donohue. Donohue was a bartender at a so-called cop bar at the time.
Attorneys say all of the evidence pointed to Donohue, and the evidence was left out, including the sperm in the victim's body. Cohen said, "It took 19 years for someone to discover sperm inside her body. It's standard protocol to do a rape kit on every female who is found murdered, the initial officers considered this to be a homicide, the original medical examiner considered it to be a homicide, every finger was pointed at Dennis Donohue and the next thing you know, Frank Clark is granting him transactional immunity, and they're not even getting testimony from him to convict Lynn. Looks to me like a cover up."
Cohen believes the case will go to trial.
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