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POP & ROCK

<i> Arts and entertainment reports from The Times, national and international news services and the nation's press</i>

A man who sued the heavy-metal group Judas Priest, contending its music drove him to a 1985 suicide attempt, has died after lapsing into an unexplained coma, but his attorney vows the court case will continue. “The Judas Priest lawsuit is going forward. We are not daunted one bit. As a matter of fact, it’s more important than ever,” attorney Timothy Post said Wednesday. James Vance, 23, was pronounced dead at late Tuesday night at Washoe Medical Center in Reno, Nev., where he had been in a coma since Thanksgiving Day, said spokesman David Stipech. Vance and his parents sued Judas Priest and CBS Records, alleging subliminal messages in the British group’s music caused Vance and Raymond Belknap, 19, to make a suicide pact after listening to the group’s “Stained Class” album for six hours while smoking marijuana and drinking beer.


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