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Jury Selection Completed In Murder-For-Hire Plot; Opening Statements Begin Tuesday

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TOWSON, Md. (WJZ) –  She’s accused of hiring a hitman to murder her husband in a case that stunned Baltimore County three years ago. Karla Porter is on trial at the Baltimore County courthouse, where jury selection has been completed.

Derek Valcourt has the background on this case.

When her husband was shot in the head, she claimed it was a robbery gone wrong. Police say she promised the killer $9,000.

Prosecutors will argue Karla Porter was just acting the part of a grieving widow in March 2010 when her husband, 49-year-old William “Ray” Porter, was shot in the head at the Joppa Road Hess gas station the couple owned together.

Instead, police say Karla masterminded a plan to hire a hitman to kill her husband for $9,000. The stunning revelations and Karla Porter’s arrest came as friends and family gathered at the funeral home.

Some who knew the couple told WJZ at the time she had them fooled.

“Yes, she seemed very shocked. When I saw her at Shock Trauma on Monday, she was crying, she was shaking,” said family friend John Scharf at the time.

Karla Porter was one of six arrested for playing a role in the murder. She is the last to go on trial. Everyone else is already serving prison time–including the hired hitman, Walter Bishop.

“I walked in, I aimed towards his face,” Bishop said in March 2010. “I just closed my eyes and pulled the trigger.”

His recorded confession to police was released at his trial. He said after the crime, Karla Porter had one question.

“She asked if he was dead. I said, `I guess.’ She said, `Go,’” Bishop said in March 2010.

Prosecutors will introduce phone records they say point to Karla Porter’s guilt and her own words will likely be used against her. Police say she waived her Miranda rights and confessed she hired someone to beat up the father of her children, saying marital problems, some physical abuse and her husband’s desire to relocate to Florida were all motivating factors.

The jury has been seated and opening arguments will begin Tuesday morning.

Prosecutors wanted the death penalty for Karla Porter but since lawmakers repealed it, they are seeking a punishment of life in prison without parole.

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