Woman Sentenced To Life In Prison Plus 40 Years In Murder-For-Hire Plot

A White Marsh woman has been sentenced to life in prison for hiring a hit man to kill her husband, whom she claimed abused her years.

A jury rejected Karla Porter’s self-defense claim and convicted her of first-degree murder in August. Prosecutors disputed Porter’s allegations that her husband, William “Ray” Porter, had been abusive, and said she fabricated the claims to justify murder.

“The evidence at the trial was very clear. Every story that she told about these acts of alleged abuse we completely disproved,” Deputy State’s Attorney John Cox said Monday.

Porter’s defense team tried to get a lighter sentence by arguing that her husband would have killed her if she didn’t act first. The defense said that, at one point, Ray Porter aimed a gun at his wife and told her, “Not one person is going to miss you,” according to the Baltimore Sun.

Baltimore County Circuit Judge Robert E. Cahill Jr. agreed with the state and sentenced 51-year-old Karla Porter to life plus 40 years in prison without the possibility of parole. Five other people have been sentenced in the death of Ray Porter.

On March 1, 2010, Karla Porter lured her husband to the Hess gas station he owned and operated by triggering the security alarm. She joined him at the gas station and went about the daily routine until hit man Walter Bishop arrived and opened fire. Prosecutors said Porter contacted Bishop 53 times that morning. She then called 911 and told investigators that the gunman was a young a black man in a black sweatshirt.

The defense argued that Porter wouldn’t have gone to such extreme lengths if she hadn’t been abused for several years. William B. Purpura said the case “dealt with what happened behind closed doors,” but that Porter had witnesses to corroborate her claims. The prosecution, however, found inconsistencies in Porter’s story and argued that she exaggerated or falsified the accusations against Ray Porter.

The defense plans to appeal Porter’s sentence.

Karla Porter testified that she ordered the hit on her husband because she felt she had no other options. She said Ray Porter wanted to move to Florida, where she had no friends or family, and that he would kill her there.

“If Ray was alive, I would be dead,” she said in August.

Karla Porter’s nephew, Seamus Coyle, and her sister, Susan M. Datta, were also convicted and sentenced to prison for connecting Porter with Walter Bishop and obtaining a gun, respectively. Calvin Lee Mowers, who drove Bishop to the gas station, and his accomplice, Matthew Phillip Brown, were also convicted.

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