Woman In Murder-For-Hire Plot Makes ‘Battered Spouse’ Defense
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TOWSON, Md. (WJZ) — She’s on trial for hiring a hitman to kill her husband. And Wednesday, jurors heard from Karla Porter herself as prosecutors played her videotaped confession to police.
Derek Valcourt has more on what Porter had to say.
Prosecutors rested their case after the jury watched Karla Porter in that video interrogation, where at first she lied to police and then eventually broke down in tears as she confessed to her role in the murderous plot.
When William Ray Porter was shot in the head in March 2010 at the Towson Hess gas station he owned, his wife called 911.
Caller: “My husband’s just been shot.”
911: “Listen to me. What is your name?”
Caller: “Karla Porter.”
At first, she claimed her husband was shot in the head by a black man in an armed robbery.
911: “Do you know the person?”
Porter: “No, I’ve never seen him before. He was black and he just came in the side door and I went out and I came in and…”
But police say that was all an act. They say Karla Porter masterminded a plan to have her husband murdered and enlisted the help of several people, including her sister, brother and nephew to hire a hitman–Walter Bishop.
Bishop confessed to police, saying he was promised $9,000 by Karla, who only asked him one question after the shooting:
“She asked if he was dead. I said ‘I guess.’ She said ‘Go,’” Bishop said.
But during her lengthy police interrogation, Porter eventually broke down in a tearful confession that she’d been subjected to verbal and even physical abuse by her husband for years and just wanted it to end.
“I just wanted someone to hit him for me. I didn’t want any of this to happen. I really didn’t,” she told police. “He was just being really mean.”
Prosecutors rested their case after playing that video confession. Now Karla Porter and her attorneys begin their work, presenting what is essentially a “battered spouse syndrome” defense, saying after years of abuse she just couldn’t take it anymore.
Karla Porter will take the stand herself Thursday, her attorneys say.
Prosecutors originally were asking for the death penalty for Karla Porter. But since lawmakers abolished it this year, they will now seek life in prison without parole.