Notorious Montgomery killer dies behind bars
Convicted contract killer James Edward Perry, serving life in prison for one of the Washington area's most shocking crimes in the 1990s, died of an illness Wednesday at age 61, a Maryland corrections official said.
Montgomery County authorities said Perry purchased and studied a how-to book titled "Hit Man." Then on March 3, 1993, he followed the manual almost to the letter in killing Mildred Horn, 43; her 8-year-old quadriplegic son, Trevor Horn; and the boy's visiting nurse, Janice Roberts Saunders, 38, in the Horns' Silver Spring home, evidence showed.
Trevor’s father, Lawrence T. Horn, a former Motown records producer, was convicted of hiring Perry to commit the murders in a scheme to gain control of Trevor’s $1.8 million trust fund, the result of a hospital malpractice settlement.
Perry, a former street minister from Detroit, recently had been housed in a medical facility at Maryland’s Jessup Correctional Institution, suffering from a terminal illness, said Mark Vernarelli, a spokesman for the prison system.
In an e-mail Thursday, Vernarelli said he could not be specific about Perry’s affliction. He said Perry was taken to Laurel Regional Hospital about 8:30 p.m. Tuesday and pronounced dead there early Wednesday morning.
Perry, who initially was sentenced to death in the case, shot Mildred Horn and Saunders and suffocated the bed-ridden, severely retarded Trevor by dislodging an air tube that aided his breathing.
After the original conviction in 1995 was overturned by an appeals court, Perry was found guilty in a second trial in 2001 and sentenced to three life terms without parole.
Lawrence Horn, now 69, who was estranged from his family and living in Hollywood at the time the murder-for-hire plot was hatched, also was sentenced to three life terms. He remains behind bars.
Washington Post editors
December 31, 2009; 3:24 PM ET
Categories: Montgomery , Paul Duggan , Prison Beat
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