Fourth person sentenced in Towson gas station owner's death

A Baltimore County man who rode with the gunman in a murder-for-hire plot of a Towson gas station owner was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment Friday.

Matthew Phillip Brown, 30, of Middle River received a life sentence with all but 20 years suspended, for his role in the death of William "Ray" Porter. Porter was shot and killed by Walter Bishop at the Hess gas station on Joppa Road on March 1, 2010.

The victim's wife, Karla Porter, told detectives the crime had been committed by a man who had held up the business they owned, but police later determined she had hired Bishop to shoot her husband.

Prosecutors said Brown accompanied Bishop, the triggerman, who was driven to the gas station by Calvin Lee Mowers.

"Clearly the evidence showed he (Brown) was the least culpable of all the defendants," said State's Attorney Scott D. Shellenberger Friday.

Brown, who was found guilty of first degree murder, is the fourth defendant sentenced. Bishop has been convicted and sentenced to two consecutive life sentences plus 20 years for his role. Susan M. Datta, whom prosecutors said provided the gun and Karla Porter's nephew, Seamus Anthony Coyle, who connected her with the shooter, are both serving life sentences for their roles in the murder.

Mowers has pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and is scheduled for sentencing July 6. Karla Porter is scheduled for trial in Carroll County Circuit Court on March 18, 2013.

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