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Idol Finalist Mom Put Child Killer Behind Bars

Feb. 17 2009, Published 6:55 a.m. ET

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The mother of flamboyant American Idol contestant Nate Marshall once helped put a child killer behind bars.

Nate's mom, 51-year old Pamela Marshall, is a drug user with a long prison record. Despite her problems, she did an amazing thing.

Pamela Marshall has a long criminal past, but that hasn't stopped her from doing good. Franklin County, NY District Attorney Derek Champagne tells The National Enquirer: "I've put her in jail numerous times but when she's out on the street I've seen her and she's waving, saying, 'Hi, Mr. Champagne, I'm trying to get my act together.'

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Despite her repeated run-ins with Champagne, Pamela was one of his star witnesses against child-killer Brenda Snyder who suffocated her 2-year-old daughter.

Around Christmas 1998, Snyder was awaiting trial in the Franklin County Jail. Pamela was a fellow inmate. The two talked, and Snyder confessed to killing her toddler.

Pamela didn't immediately tell authorities. She thought the system would work and Snyder would be convicted.

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