Reporting Derek Valcourt
TOWSON, Md. (WJZ) — Murder-for-hire trial. A White Marsh woman takes the stand in her own defense. Karla Porter says she had to have her husband killed before he killed her.
William Ray Porter was shot at the Towson gas station he owned in 2010.
Derek Valcourt was in court as Karla Porter testified.
At times, Karla Porter broke down in tears as she told jurors she suffered years of beatings, lived in constant fear and just couldn’t take it anymore. She asked three other people for help to kill her husband before one of them finally carried out the plan.
Detective: “You ever seen him before?”
During her videotaped police interrogation, Karla Porter repeatedly lied about her involvement in the murder of her husband, Ray, at first blaming a robber. But eventually she confessed to planning his assassination.
Karla: “I just wanted someone just to hit him for me. I didn’t want any of this to happen. I didn’t.”
Detective: “What happened Karla?”
Karla: “He was just being really mean.”
Porter now admits she enlisted the help of several people, including members of her family, to hire hitman Walter Bishop to kill her husband in front of her in March 2010 at the Joppa Road Hess gas station the couple owned together.
Karla: “Everybody told you how wonderful of a man he was. I didn’t want you to know that he did hit me and stuff sometimes.”
Karla Porter took the stand Thursday to detail years of verbal and physical abuse she claims she suffered at the hands of her husband. She says he punched and shoved her, threw things at her, slammed her head into walls and floors and even held a gun to her head threatening to kill her.
Porter told jurors she lived in constant fear.
Karla: “It was getting so bad. I knew that Ray was going to kill me. I just wanted to kill him first.”
Ray and Karla Porter’s daughter briefly took the stand to testify she witnessed her father verbally abusing her mother. Prosecutors were clearly suggesting the daughter just wants to help her mother and suggesting Karla Porter is making up stories of physical abuse.
Testimony in the case continues Friday.
The other five defendants in the murder-for-hire scheme are already serving prison sentences.