A man accused of slaying a Towson gas station owner last year was "under an incredible amount of pressure from a woman who would go to the ends of the earth to have her husband killed," his attorney told jurors during opening Friday in a trial that could be the first test of Maryland's new death penalty law.
Walter Bishop Jr., 29, is charged with killing William Porter after being hired by Porter's wife, Karla. Karla Porter is scheduled to face trial next year.
Under a law passed two years ago, death penalty cases in Maryland must include DNA or video evidence. In Bishop's case, the defense argues that police improperly obtained a videotaped confession.
Prosecutor Jennifer Schiffer indicated that the tape would be key in the state's case.
"You're going to hear the story of a cold-blooded, premeditated murder from the defendant's own mouth," she said.
Bishop's trial is being held in Harford County because of publicity surrounding the case. Witness testimony is expected to begin later this afternoon.