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DNA Could Bring New Trial for Dejac

By Joyce Kryszak


Buffalo, NY – Initial DNA test results in the re-opened murder case of Crystallynn Girard are pointing more suspicion at Dennis Donohue. Crystallynn's mother, Lynn Dejac, was convicted and jailed for the 1993 murder of the thirteen-year-old girl.

Donohue was indicted last week for the 1993 murder of another woman, Joan Giambra. But similarities in the cases once again made Donohue a suspect in Crytsallynn's murder. He knew her mother, Lynn Dejac who accused him of being the killer. She has spent the last thirteen years in jail, serving a 25 year to life sentence.

Now, DNA tests on evidence collected and preserved from the crime scene link a male, possibly Donohue, to Crystallynn's murder.

Dejac's defense attorney Andrew LoTempio explains the initial findings that he says are about 80 percent conclusive. "There was a paternal match to Donohue's DNA strand," said LoTempio.

He said samples were matched to a blood spot on Crystallyn's bedroom wall and to scrapings from her vagina. He said the samples were likely from skin or sweat, not semen.

Erie County District Attorney Frank Clark confirmed that male DNA was found. But he would not say from where or comment further on the evidence, citing the need for more tests, icluding tests on the DNA of other men connected with the case at that time.

Regardless of the results, Clark said they can not be as conclusive as in the exoneration of Anthony Capozzi, because there was not a rape that would leave behind semen that could be tied to the killer.

But LoTempio strongly disagrees. He said there would be no other explanation for Donohue's DNA to be present on the girl's naked body.

He said Dejac responded with mixed emotions of hope and anger when he told her the news Wednesday night.

LoTempio ssaid she was disturbed to learn that her daughter might have been sexually abused in some fashion, as well as murdered.

Clark said additional tests will not be complete for at least another week and a half. LoTempio said, at that time, he hopes to persuade the district attorney request the court overturn Dejac's conviction. If not, LoTempio said he will ask the judge for a new trial. The district attorney could support that motion, or fight to have the conviction upheld.

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