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Burglar sentenced to 13 years for heart attack death of victim

January 14, 1997

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ A burglar was sentenced to 13 years in prison for scaring a 60-year-old woman to death.

Alfonso Blackmon, 27, was sentenced on Monday. He was charged with murder but pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter in the death of Janet Doering, a widow with heart trouble.

``There is a message here,″ said prosecutor Robert Dver. ``If you enter someone’s home planning to commit a crime, you are responsible for what happens to that person.″

Mrs. Doering was in her bedroom in 1994 when she heard a noise and saw a flashlight beam under her door, and dialed 911. She was flushed and sweating when police arrived, and died later that night of a heart attack.

The burglars took $54 from her purse.

Prosecutors sought murder charges against Blackmon and his accomplice even though Mrs. Doering never saw the men and Blackmon never actually entered her home. He was linked to the crime from fingerprints on a window screen.

Blackmon, whose criminal record included burglary and robbery, faced life in prison if convicted under the state’s ``three strikes″ law.