Byron Looper Found Dead In Prison Cell In Morgan County - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Byron Looper Found Dead In Prison Cell In Morgan County

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MORGAN COUNTY, Tenn. – Byron Looper, the man convicted of murdering state Senator Tommy Burks in 1998, was found dead in his prison cell at the Morgan County Correctional Complex on Wednesday morning.

The Tennessee Department of Correction said the 48-year-old was found unresponsive in his cell at approximately 10:10 a.m. CDT.

Commissioner Derrick Schofield has requested the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation to assume the lead in the investigation into Looper's death.

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 without parole.

Investigators said he killed Burks in order to win his seat in the state Legislature.

Burks's widow, Charlotte Burks, was elected to fill her late husband's seat and still serves in the Senate.

(The Associated Press Contributed To This Report.)

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