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Thursday, February 26, 1998

Cellmate: Diane Zamora attempted suicide because of anger at parents

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) -- Grief over her parents nationwide media blitz led Diane Zamora to a suicide attempt less than 24 hours after her capital murder conviction, a cellmate of the former midshipman said.

"She was talking about killing herself because her parents had taken off to New York and California," said Barbara Harris, 44, one of two inmates who shared a common dayroom with Ms. Zamora at the Tarrant County jail.

"Her mother kept telling her she didn't have time to talk to her, that she had to pack for the trip," Ms. Harris said. "It upset her. She kept saying, 'I'm supposed to be going with them.' "

Ms. Zamora cut her arm less than 24 hours after her conviction. Authorities said she used a razor blade she had concealed in her cell.

She was transferred Monday to a women's unit of the Texas prison system at Gatesville.

Mary Mendoza, one of Ms. Zamora's aunts, said that Carlos and Gloria Zamora spoke with their daughter at least three times before they left town.

Ms. Mendoza, however, acknowledged that Ms. Zamora was furious with her parents for making the television appearances because she did not believe the post-trial publicity would help.

"She was upset. She was livid. She was beside herself," said Ms. Mendoza, one of Gloria Zamora's five sisters. "Every conversation she would say, 'Where are my mom and dad? Where are my parents?' She wanted to see them."

Carlos and Gloria Zamora could not be reached for comment by The Associated Press on Wednesday.

Diane Zamora, 20, was convicted and sentenced to life in prison Feb. 17 for the abduction-slaying of Adrianne Jones, 16, of Mansfield. Authorities said Ms. Zamora ordered her ex-fiance, David Graham, to kill Ms. Jones because he told her that the two of them once had sex.

Graham, 20, a former Air Force Academy cadet, is scheduled for trial later this year.

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