In 2001, Jane Dorotik was sentenced to 25 years in prison for the murder of her husband. She always claimed that she was wrongly convicted. Decades later, a new team of lawyers successfully challenged the state’s lawsuit, discrediting some of the evidence used to convict her against her. On May 16, 2022, prosecutors abruptly dropped the charges against the mother of three children, now 75 years old.
Outside the courtroom, Jane Dorotik said. CBS 8 San Diego“The arduous 22-year journey is finally over. And it’s a great relief.”
Jane’s nightmare began on February 13, 2000, when her husband Bob went for a run near her family’s horse ranch in San Diego County and never returned. The next morning, Bob’s body was found in a forested area a few miles away. He was beaten and strangled to death. Three days later, the police surprised the grieving family and charged Jane with brutal murder. “I was like, ‘Huh?’ …and I couldn’t believe this would happen.”
“48 Hours” started following the case shortly after Jane Dorotik was released on bail in 2000. As Jane told “48 Hours” correspondent Erin Moriarty, I know I’m innocent.”
Jane was a successful medical manager who loved horses. Bob was an engineer with a passion for hiking and jogging. The Dorotiks’ relationship over the years has been rough, but Jane said their marriage was “better than ever” at the time of her murder. The investigators didn’t believe it. They said the Dorotiks’ marriage was in trouble again and could be a motive for the murder. That’s money. If the couple divorced, Jane had to give Bob a portion of her income.
Prosecutors called this “planned, premeditated, and willful murder.” They believed that Jane killed Bob in the couple’s bedroom and then carried him to the woods where his body was found. At the trial, prosecutors told the jury that tire marks found near Bob’s body matched Jane’s truck. a piece of rope hanging from the veranda that appears to be the same type of rope found around Bob’s neck; Blood in the bedroom, which it claims to be Bob’s; And a syringe with Jane’s fingerprints in Bob’s blood.
Claire Dorotik never believed that her mother could kill her father, but her brothers doubted. At the trial, Alex and Nick Dorotik were the state’s main witnesses against their mother. After four days of deliberation, the jury convicted Jane of first degree murder.
Moriarty spoke to the convicted Jane.
“It was like, ‘No, this can’t be… I was pretty sure I was walking,'” Jane said.
“Then why did you come up with such a thought during the trial?” Moriarty asked.
“Because I am innocent, because I thought they would see the truth.” Jane answered.
Jane Dorotik went to jail, but she did not stop fighting to overturn her beliefs. Loyola Project for the Innocent I took her case. In 2015, new DNA tests were conducted on the ropes used to strangle Bob Dorotik’s nails and scrapes under clothing. DNA was found, but not Jane’s. Her lawyers discredited the validity of some of the forensic evidence against her, such as tire marks and bloodstains found in her home. Questions were also raised about some of the criminals involved in the case and the laboratory that processed some of the evidence.
In 2020, Jane’s murder conviction was overturned and released from prison. But her prosecutors planned to re-investigate her on the murder charge of her bob. On May 16, 2022, the lawsuit against Jane Dorotik was dismissed instead of a retrial. After the judge ruled that certain evidence was unacceptable, the prosecution concluded that it could no longer proceed ethically because it believed that the remaining evidence was insufficient to establish guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
Moriarty spoke to Jane a few days later. charges dropped.
“Do you believe your life was stolen from you? Is that a good way to explain what happened?” Moriarty asked Jane.
“I was robbed. I was robbed. We’ve been together all my life. I lost my husband. And I was charged somehow. And I was convicted. It’s the worst theft ever,” Jane replied. “Thank God for the naive Loyola project, willing to dig up all the evidence… …the thought of depriving someone of their lifelong freedom and imprisoning them shouldn’t be a thorough investigation, right?”
A new episode of this “48 hours” story is in production for the fall.