The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

State News

December 29, 2012

State in brief: 6 teens injured in shootings at York party, police say

(Continued)

YORK — Plea slated in homicide case

EASTON – An eastern Penn­sylvania woman is scheduled to enter a guilty plea Monday in the death of her estranged boyfriend the day before they were due to appear in court on a child custody matter.

Public defender James Connell said in Northampton County court on Friday that Elizabeth Collazo, 43, would plead guilty to first-degree mur­der in exchange for prosecutors dropping their efforts to have her executed for the crime.

First Deputy District Attorney Terence Houck said that if Collazo doesn’t enter the plea Monday, he will seek capital punishment when she goes on trial Jan. 7.

Police allege that early on March 15, Collazo let herself into the Williams Township home she once shared with Mark Werkheiser, 38, and shot him six times as he slept. The murder came only hours before the two were scheduled to be at a custody hearing over their four children.

Connell said his client is ready to take responsibility for the slaying, but asked that she be able to write her children twice a month “without interference” and that they be allowed to communicate with her or even visit if they wish to do so.

Judge Edward Smith said he was wary of making that part of the plea because it would force the youngsters to decide whether they want contact with a mother who would have acknowledged having killed their father “in cold blood.”

One-car crash kills 2, injures 2

CATASAUQUA – The Lehigh County coroner’s office said 18-year-old Thomas Bono, 18, of Allentown and Jaenis DelosSantos, 18, of Catasauqua, were killed by blunt-force trauma in Saturday’s crash in Catasauqua.

Police Chief Douglas Kish said a car was heading west on a borough street when the driver lost control and hit a utility pole in an intersection about 6:15 a.m. Saturday.

Bono and DelosSantos were pronounced dead at the scene.

Two other passengers were taken to St. Luke’s Hospital in Bethlehem, where their condition was not immediately known.

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