Reporting Meghan McCorkell
BEL AIR, Md. (WJZ)– A twisted murder-for-hire plot ends in a guilty verdict for the man who pulled the trigger.
Meghan McCorkell has the dramatic taped confession that swayed the jury.
It took a jury under five hours to convict Walter Bishop Jr. of first-degree murder, and WJZ has obtained the key piece of evidence that could lead to his execution.
In his own words, Bishop described how he killed 49-year-old William Ray Porter.
“As soon as he come around the corner, he’d just started to turn his head, and I just went like this,” Bishop said.
In the tape, recorded in an interrogation room the day Bishop was arrested, the gunman explained the bizarre murder-for-hire plot that went down inside a Towson gas station owned by the victim.
“I walked in, I aimed towards his face, I closed my eyes and I pulled the trigger,” Bishop said.
At the center of the scheme said Bishop, was Karla Porter, the victim’s wife. He claims she promised to pay him $9,000 to kill her husband in March 2010. After Bishop walked in and fired the gun, he says Porter turned to him and asked one question.
“She asked if he was dead. I said, `I guess.’ She said, `Go,’” Bishop said.
With the taped confession, Bishop could face the death penalty under a new Maryland law. His lawyers argued he didn’t know he was being recorded.
Outside the courtroom, a friend said Bishop got mixed up with the wrong crowd.
“He’s got five kids. He’s never been in trouble before. He’s never been arrested for anything before,” said Steve Strouth.
The jury could sentence Bishop to death or life in prison. The penalty phase of the trial starts Thursday.
Six people in total were arrested in the murder-for-hire plot. Five have now been found guilty. Karla Porter is expected to go on trial sometime next year.