Wife, five others charged in alleged murder-for-hire plot

Gas station owner was fatally shot in Towson

March 08, 2010|By Liz Bowie | liz.bowie@baltsun.com

A Baltimore County woman is accused of paying $9,000 and enlisting five other people, including several family members, to kill her husband at the gas station he owned, in what charging documents show was a tangled murder-for-hire plot.

Karla Porter, 47, was one of six people arrested Saturday and charged with the first-degree murder of William Raymond Porter, 49, of Baltimore County. Porter was shot March 1 at the Hess gas station in the 1600 block of E. Joppa Road in Towson and died the next day.

Police said she confessed to the slaying. According to the charging documents, Karla Porter told witnesses that she and her husband had been having marital problems.

The charging documents lay out the roles that each of the six defendants is accused of playing:

Karla Porter's sister, Susan Datta, 52, is accused of supplying the murder weapon. Seamus Coyle, 37, allegedly introduced Karla Porter to the hit man, who has been identified as Walter Bishop, 37. Calvin Mower, 53, is accused of driving the hit man to the gas station, and Matthew Philip Brown, 38, rode with him. All live in Essex, except Coyle, who is from Rosedale. All are being held without bail.

Details of the case were first broadcast by WJZ-TV.

According to the charging documents, Karla Porter used her cell phone to lure her husband to the gas station at 3 a.m. March 1, by staging a false alarm. She then called Bishop, who drove to the gas station with several others from Essex. Charging documents say that Bishop shot Porter.

The story that Karla Porter initially told police was much different. She claimed that a man followed her into the gas station, shot her husband in the head and ran away.

According to the documents, however, Porter had been trying since December to hire someone to kill her husband. A witness came forward after the killing, police said, and claimed Karla Porter approached him months ago. She allegedly told him that her husband was abusive.

The witness declined, he told police, but Karla Porter continued to call him in January and urged him to change his mind.

She met with the witness Saturday and tried to pay him to keep silent and leave town before police could contact him.

Baltimore County police will hold a news conference today to release more details.

Baltimore Sun reporter Justin Fenton contributed to this article.

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