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Elizabeth Collazo pleads guilty to killing father of her kids, gets life in prison

By Bo Koltnow, Reporter, BKoltnow@wfmz.com
Published On: Dec 31 2012 10:51:28 AM CST
Updated On: Jan 01 2013 05:05:58 AM CST

Elizabeth Collazo admits to killing Mark Werkheiser

EASTON, Pa. -

Elizabeth Collazo spent the final day of the year starting her new life sentence in prison.

The 43-year-old Northampton County mother of four pleaded guilty to killing Mark Werkheiser, her estranged common-law husband and father of her children.

"She'll spend the rest of her life in jail, and most importantly, the family will hear her admit to what she did," said Terry Houck, first assistant district attorney.

Collazo, who escaped a possible death sentence, admitted to sneaking into Werkheiser's home in Williams Township last March and shooting him six times while he slept, while the couple's two daughters were downstairs.

"This was an extraordinary premeditated act," Houck said.

In court, Houck detailed how, in weeks leading up to the shooting, Collazo spied on female friends of Werkheiser, stole his car and house keys and learned how to shoot his gun.

"Twenty-four hours almost to the minute before this all went down she went to Walmart, where a co-worker showed her how to load the gun and the clip," Houck said.

Houck said the two were to have a custody hearing on the day of the shooting, adding that Collazo had the killing planned out weeks in advance, which included taking advantage and using her children.

Before being led away, Collazo created one last bit of courtroom drama. She had to be removed kicking and screaming.

"When the judge asked her specifically about conduct going into the bedroom and killing him, it was at that point, made up the act and started going into a fit or whatever you want to call it," Houck said.

For family and friends of Werkheiser, Collazo's life sentence could be called justice.