Inmate serving life for death of state senator found dead

Inmate serving life in prison for death of state senator found dead in cell

Byron Looper (Source: Tennessee Dept. of Corrections) Byron Looper (Source: Tennessee Dept. of Corrections)

WARTBURG (WATE/AP) - An inmate serving a life sentence for the murder of a state senator was found dead in his cell Wednesday.

Byron Looper, 48, was serving a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole for the death of his political rival, state Sen. Tommy Burks.

Looper, a former Putnam County property assessor, was convicted of murder in the 1998 fatal shooting of Burks as he sat in his pickup truck near his Cumberland County farm.

Looper, who legally changed his middle name to "Low Tax," was sentenced to life in prison.

Looper was found unresponsive and was pronounced dead at about 11:10 a.m. Wednesday.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation will be investigating Looper's death.

Portions of this report are Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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