Man who killed his politcal rival found dead in jail cell

MORGAN COUNTY, Tenn. (WVLT) -- The man convicted of killing a state senator 15 years ago was found dead in his jail cell Wednesday.

Byron Looper was found guilty in 1999 of shooting Tommy Burks to death on his Cumberland County farm.

The Putnam County tax assessor who legally changed his middle name to Low Tax had decided to run against Burks for state senate.

But, he'd previously been convicted of official misconduct.

Then, one morning in 1998, Burks' wife found her husband shot in the head.

Investigators made the connection to Looper, who had fled to Arkansas.

The 48-year-old was serving a life sentence in Morgan County when he was found dead Wednesday. There's no word on a cause of death.

The TBI is investigating.


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