BEL AIR, Md. (WJZ)– His life is in a jury’s hands. A Baltimore County man could be sentenced to die after he’s convicted in a murder-for-hire plot.

The case was moved to the Harford County courthouse because of publicity.

Weijia Jiang has more on the important decision the jury made Thursday.

It took the jury the entire day to decide if Walter Bishop Jr. is even eligible to receive the death penalty. They decided he is, so now his life lies in their hands.

The same jury that convicted Walter Bishop Jr. of first-degree murder is now deciding if he’ll live or die.

“He has five children,” Kenton Westphall, Bishop’s stepfather, said. “I know he loves his children because he talks about his boys all the time and he always took care of his girls.”

Bishop was found guilty of killing William Ray Porter, who in March 2010 was gunned down at a Towson gas station he owned with his wife, Karla Porter. She is the accused mastermind of a murder-for-hire plot. Bishop said she promised him $9,000 for the hit.

It was a key piece of evidence that likely convinced the jurors– Bishop’s own confession on tape in which he laid out the shooting and how he prepared by buying gloves at a convenience store.

“I walked in. I aimed toward his face. I just closed my eyes and pulled the trigger,” Bishop said during his confession that was videotaped.

Under a new state law, a videotaped confession makes a suspect eligible to receive the death penalty, but only if he gives the confession voluntarily. Defense attorneys are arguing Bishop was misled in the interrogation room, and that he only talked about what happened because detectives baited him– not because he chose to.

They also said Bishop had no idea he was being recorded and he wouldn’t have talked if he did.

The prosecutors fired back saying police are not obligated to disclose any cameras. Late Thursday, a jury agreed and determined Bishop is eligible for capital punishment. Now, they have to decide whether he deserves it.

“I don’t want to see him get the death penalty,” Bishop’s great-aunt Barbara Raines said. “He’s my nephew and it just would kill a lot of people.”

Defense attorneys asked the judge for an off Friday so they can have even more time to prepare and plead for their client’s life. The judge said no, so the jury will be back in court Friday morning to decide Bishop’s fate.

If Bishop does not receive the death penalty, he will be sentenced to life in prison either with or without parole.

Comments (16)
  1. Steve says:

    The wife should face the same fate. The state of Md. should not show any leniency because she is a woman. I am tired of females getting off easy because of their gender.

  2. Cheryl Morrison says:

    Statisticly, women get more time than men because they usually premeditate the same crimes whereas the men just snap and lose control and plea insanity etc…women face 8 -10 for murder and men end up with 2 to 5 yrs… Personally I think that the 5 others and the wife involved should all get 10 to 15 years and I think that Walter Bishop should get the Death Penalty. A life for a life. I hope that Jeffery Cordell can get the Death Penalty for murder in Cecil County under this new state law.

    1. sheriff says:

      Cheryl, You & your statistics are crazier than a s…..t house rat…….Two to five my a$$. What state do you live in? A state of no mind.

      1. Cheryl Morrison says:

        Thanks for making this personal with insult Sheriff, don’t come at me with your insults until you’ve done your homework. Perhaps my statement wasn’t clear but Women and men typically get double what I posted but only actually end up serving the time I posted. Yes its crazy! Not me! People can blame O’Malley all they want but they are voting in the politicians that are serving this State justice system and Judges are not enforcing the laws we do have and people don’t even understand all the specifics that need to be understood when seeking the death penalty. There is all kinds of criteria that has to be met for someone to even get the Death Penalty. People need to get involved with groups like POMC and support victim rights. Futhermore and unfortunately until your loved one is murdered, people won’t care to take a real valid interest.

  3. PO PO PO says:

    We have no death penalty Thanks o miilly We just put them up at The motel maryland

    1. stationnorth says:

      I like “The Motel Maryland” 🙂 It the perfect name for the justice system in Maryland. Thanks for the laugh.

  4. Ratz says:

    We should not have had a trial. We should have hanged him like they did in the old wetern days, This way we save the taxpayers money on the trial.

  5. Angry Mom says:

    I say that the nasty B***** who was behind the whole killing should get the same sentence regardless. But then again think of the state in which we live. Its MD. Scared of the death penalty. Omalley is just as bad. Let someone from his family get hurt or killed he would probably change his tune on the death penalty.

  6. XXx says:

    i agree with all of u who says the wife should see the same fate as this man bc it was HER who wanted her husband dead and was willin to pay someone money to have it done. while what this man did was wrong he was just tryin to make a quick buck (I IN NO WAY CONDONE WHAT HE DID). I do not know if this man has a record or not but the fact of the matter is there is a good chance this man would not have killed if the wife did not hire him to do so so i feel as if he doesnt get the death penalty and just by chance gets life with the possibility of parole the wife should get life without

  7. MD DAD says:

    What’s up with his eyes? He looks like Lyrch from the Addam’s Family.

  8. Tracey says:

    A man is dead due to all involved in this murder, so they should ALL be sentenced to death. But what good would it do, considering O’Malley has all but gutted MD’s death penalty. Too bad. True justice SHOULD BE swift, certain & severe. No wonder no one is afraid of our justice system anymore.

  9. stll white still care says:

    this murder was not done in anger, or gleasey, it was dont in greed.
    hang them all

  10. still white still care says:

    this murder was done by a white selfish pieace of trash and she should hang with the rest of the ones that help her do this

  11. bmoregyrl says:

    I think the guy should get life and can tell on the video that he was scared but he still went thru it and he needs to go time by spending the rest of his life in jail. I don’t believe that in teh death penalty.

  12. amy says:

    Walter is a friend of a lot of people. what he did was wrong and selfish. but i don’t think he need to die he needs to live his life in jail and for his kids they will miss him.

    the wife of the guy should get the death penalty she planed the hole thing and she was to chicken to do it so she had got younger guys to do so they can through there hole life away

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