A man who has spent 19 years in a California prison for the murder of Tito jackson’s ex-wife says he’s innocent and should be freed. But Michael Jackson’s brother isn’t buying Don Bohana’s story. Tito described the day that Delores “Dee Dee” Jackson died as the “coldest day of our lives,” but son TJ said that he will no longer object to parole at Bohana’s upcoming hearing.
“I basically made a statement to the parole judge, ‘If you feel it’s time for him to get out, then let him out,” TJ told 20/20.
What Was The Motive?
Tito still believes that there was sufficient evidence and motive to convict Bohana, a wealthy business man who was known for his humanitarian contributions to the Los Angeles community. Money, and the fact that Dee Dee wouldn’t give it to Bohana, was the center of a conflict that escalated into deadly rage.
“She was a Jackson and that’s what he knew,” Tito said.
Dee Dee Couldn’t Swim
The second-oldest Jackson brother has reason to doubt Bohana’s narrative of events. Dee Dee and Tito met as students at Fairfax High School in Los Angeles. The couple wed shortly after graduation in 1972 and remained married until 1993. Tito knew her better than most, especially her fear of water. Dee Dee couldn’t swim. He immediately suspected foul play when he heard that she had drowned in her new boyfriend’s pool.
“My first question was, ‘Drown?’ What was she doing in the water?” Tito said. “You know, ’cause Dee Dee and I, neither of us swam.”
Son Taj affirmed his father’s assertion. The family knew just “how much she feared the pool.” Tito also recalled all of the bruises and damage to his ex-wife’s body. The coroner’s report called her drowning “assisted” and Bohana was reportedly the last one to see Dee Dee alive. Tito drew the conclusion that Bohana had inflicted those wounds.
“It points to murder to me, in the first degree,” Tito said.
— 3T (@TheReal3T) September 16, 2017
Bohana Tells A Different Story
Bohana was convicted of second-degree murder and was sentenced to 15 years to life. He is now planning to file a wrongful conviction suit in the hopes of getting out of prison. ABC 20/20‘s Jim Avila interviewed Bohana by telephone and he tells a very different story than the evidence suggests.
The convicted murderer described the evening as a romantic one where he and Dee Dee were drinking and relaxing by the pool. They got into the hot tub and continued drinking heavily. Bohana claims that at some point Dee Dee got into the pool, swam across the pool near a pool light, did an Olympic turn and then suddenly stopped moving.
The man then claims that she fought him off when he jumped in to rescue her. Eventually he got her out of the pool and attempted CPR. Bohana called 911 and was so intoxicated that he gave the operator the wrong address. Dee Dee was declared dead at the hospital.
While Bohana’s daughter is working feverishly to get her father released, Tito’s sons will never see their mother again. They hurt just as much now as it did the day she died.
“To this day, I’m learning how to deal with it,” TJ said. “But the pain is still there.”
— Donald Bohana (@donaldbohana) September 16, 2017