State correctional officials say Byron Looper, a Tennessee inmate serving a life sentence for the murder of state Sen. Tommy Burks, was found dead in his cell in the Morgan County Correctional Complex.
A statement from the Tennessee Department of Correction said the 48-year-old Looper was found dead at about 11:10 a.m. EDT Wednesday. The commissioner has asked the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation to investigate the cause of his 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.