Although there were indications at the time that she was the shooter, no arrests were made and the case remained unsolved for a decade, McAvenia said.
The police department's Cold Case Team, led by retired Chula Vista police Sgt. Bob Conrad, reviewed the case in 2002 and uncovered new evidence, McAvenia said.
"There were some financial problems they were having that we red-flagged back then, but it wasn't fully explored," McAvenia said.
During the renewed investigation, police obtained a search warrant for the couple's financial records, McAvenia said.
In court, Gianera said the defendant got $700,000 after the murder from a $500,000 life insurance policy and selling the victim's airplane and other assets.
Police also conducted new interviews with Janet Devine, employees at Marine Services and friends of the Devines, McAvenia said.
During the interviews, former employees said Janet Devine deviated from her usual routine on the day of her husband's slaying. On most mornings, she was the first to arrive at the office and would simply walk in and start working, McAvenia said.
"But on this particular morning, she unlocked the business, turned off the alarm and went back to her car and waited for another employee to arrive before she entered the office," McAvenia said. "It was as if she wanted other witnesses to discover her husband's body with her."
It wasn't unusual for Thomas Devine to spend the night at his office, so police didn't investigate why his wife didn't report him missing, McAvenia said.
Investigators first thought he was shot during a burglary because the office was ransacked, but large amounts of cash and office equipment were still there, McAvenia said.
"The robbery was staged and we knew it was an inside job," McAvenia said. "In addition, blood splatter found on the wall matches a shot fired by someone of Janet Devine's stature."
Gianera said Thomas Devine was killed with a .38-caliber gun that was hidden in his office and that nobody else knew about.
She said the shooter was less than 5 feet 5 inches tall.
Janet Devine is reportedly 5 feet 3.
District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis will decide later whether the defendant will face the death penalty or life in prison without parole if she's convicted, Gianera said.
Superior Court Judge Larrie Brainard set bail at $500,000 after defense attorney Tom Warwick argued that Devine had been cooperating with law enforcement since her husband was killed.
A status conference was set for April 21.
Warwick, who represented Devine since the murder, said police have constantly been reminded that "anytime you wanted this woman to come to court, she would come to court."
The attorney said Devine is not a danger or a flight risk.
"This prosecution has taken 10 years," Warwick told the judge. "She intends to stay here. She has never been a danger to this particular community."
Warwick said 13 employees at Marine Services Commercial Diving Company would have to be laid off if reasonable bail was not set and Devine failed to get out of jail.
The business brings in about $1 million a year, the attorney said.
"My client is a very, very nice woman," the attorney said outside court. "It's been very hard on her."
Gianera unsuccessfully urged the judge to set bail at $10 million, saying Devine had access to large amounts of money and calling her a "high roller" at the Viejas Indian Casino.
Last year, Devine put $5 million into play at the casino, Gianera said.
Thomas Devine was a former Navy diver and served as a San Diego police officer from 1961 to 1968, when he resigned, San Diego police officials said.
After leaving the police department, he opened Marine Services Commercial Diving Company out of his garage and back yard, according to a Web site created in his memory by family members. He moved the business into the Chula Vista office in 1977.
Wife pleads innocent to husband's murder a decade ago
SIGNONSANDIEGO NEWS SERVICES
5:13 p.m. April 9, 2004
SAN DIEGO – A woman accused of killing her husband nearly 10 years ago at their commercial diving business and collecting $700,000 pleaded innocent Friday to murder charges.
Janet Devine, 57, was arrested about 9 a.m. Wednesday while working at Marine Services Commercial Diving Company, the same business where her husband Thomas was slain in 1994, said Chula Vista police Sgt. John McAvenia.
"It was an execution," prosecutor Jennifer Gianera said in court. "He was shot in the back of the head."
Chula Vista police believe Devine fired two bullets into the back of her husband's head on May 10, 1994, as he sat in his office.