Hit man for Gaile Owens dies on Tennessee's death row

Hit man for Gaile Owens dies on Tennessee's death row

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Sidney Porterfield (source: TDOC) Sidney Porterfield (source: TDOC)
Associated Press NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - The man hired by former death row inmate Gaile Owens to kill her husband has died in prison.

Tennessee Department of Correction spokeswoman Dorinda Carter said Sidney Porterfield died of natural causes on Wednesday afternoon. At 71, he was the oldest inmate on death row.

Porterfield was a Memphis mechanic in 1985 when he was approached by Gaile Owens and offered $17,000 to kill Ron Owens.

The killing gained notoriety, in part, because Gaile and Ron Owens had been seen as a devout and devoted couple.

Previous story: State high court gives Tenn. death row inmate more time

Owens and Porterfield were both sentenced to death.

Owens' supporters later said she had been an abused wife who refused to discuss the abuse at trial to protect her young sons.

Her sentence was commuted in 2010 and she was released in 2011.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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