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Woman Testifying Collapses, Dies

September 11, 2001

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) _ The mother of a murder victim collapsed in court during the convicted killer’s sentencing hearing and died after telling the judge she wanted the ``maximum sentence.″

Pam Blakeman, 49, of Lakewood, Colo., had begun to testify Monday at the trial of Delfin Paz Jr., who was convicted of killing Blakeman’s daughter, Lisa Rocha, on Mother’s Day 2000.

After collapsing, Blakeman was taken to St. Joseph Hospital where she later died, hospital spokesman Don Butterfield said. Blakeman’s son, Jeff Garden, said his mother had suffered an asthma attack.

Paz’s sentencing was postponed until Oct. 12.

Rocha, the mother of two young children, was found shot to death on May 14, 2000, in her home. Paz, a former boyfriend, was arrested on charges of murder and tampering with evidence.

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