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Baltimore Co. Woman Found Guilty Of First-Degree Murder For Hiring Hitman To Kill Husband

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Derek Valcourt began working at WJZ in September 2002. His first major...
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TOWSON, Md. (WJZ) — Convicted. A jury found the woman who admitted hiring the hitman that murdered her husband guilty of first-degree murder.

Derek Valcourt has more on the jury’s decision.

Karla Porter did not look surprised as the jury rejected her self-defense argument and sided with prosecutors, who said hiring a hitman is the definition of premeditated murder.

Three years after William Ray Porter’s murder, his family says they finally have justice.

“It doesn’t take our pain away, take my poor parents’ pain away, so it’s hard,” said Ray Porter’s brother, Rick.

Ray Porter was shot in the head at a Hess gas station he owned with his wife, Karla Porter.

At first, she lied to police, blaming a robber, but detectives soon realized she was to blame, enlisting help from several of her family members to hire hitman Walter Bishop, who agreed to do the job after getting only $400 in payment.

“What happened, Karla?” a detective asked.

“He was just being really mean,” Karla Porter replied.

At trial, Karla Porter took the stand to say she was so verbally, physically and psychologically abused by her husband that she feared for her life, arguing she hired a hitman in a form of self-defense and therefore was only guilty of manslaughter.

“It clearly didn’t add up. It was a final act of desperation by Karla Porter to find justification for what she did,” said prosecutor John Cox.

Cox called Karla Porter’s claim of domestic abuse a lie.

“She honestly has done a disservice to the true victims of domestic violence to try to use what they have to go through to her advantage, to try to get herself out of what she did. That’s a disservice to the true victims of domestic violence,” Cox said.

“He was a loving father and he loved his family and he didn’t deserve what happened to him,” Rick Porter said. “It was just unfortunate and we’re just glad it’s finally over.”

In addition to first-degree murder, Porter was found guilty on charges of conspiracy to commit murder, three counts of solicitation to commit murder and the use of a handgun in commission of a crime. She faces the possibility of life in prison with no parole. A sentencing date has not yet been set.

Five other convicted co-conspirators are already serving lengthy prison sentences for their role in the murder.

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