HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) _ A former California woman imprisoned for participating in the killings of jewelry store owners in Connecticut and New York has died at age 30.

Nicole Pearce’s attorney says she died Oct. 7 of cervical cancer at York Correctional Institution in Niantic. She had pleaded guilty to murder and testified last spring against her ex-boyfriend, Christopher DiMeo.

Pearce, who was from San Marcos, Calif., was serving 20 years for robbery for helping DiMeo scout a jewelry store in Glen Head, Long Island, where he killed the owner. She was awaiting sentencing for helping plan another robbery in Fairfield, where the husband-and-wife store owners were gunned down in 2005.

Pearce’s attorney says her actions were driven by her drug addiction and DiMeo’s influence, and she was deeply remorseful.

The Connecticut Post first reported Pearce’s death.

     (Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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