The authorities of Tennessee claim to have solved the murder of a 42-year-old businessman from Chattanooga, calling the case a contract murder with links to the administration of the former governor of Tennessee Ray Blanton. Samuel Pettyjohn was shot four times and killed on February 1, 1979, in what investigators described as an execution style hit, according to a news release from the county attorney's office Hamilton. At a press conference on Wednesday, Hamilton County Distri Attorney General Neal Pinkston said that at the time of his death, Pettyjohn was part of a federal investigation into a pardon and parole program involving Blanton. Pinkston said the governor's office arranged for inmates to be released early from their sentence in exchange for money. Pettyjohn was involved in the operation, Pinkston said, but he cooperated with the FBI on several occasions and said Blanton was aware of the scheme. Pinkston said through their investigative work they identified Pettyjohn 's killer as William Edward Alley, a notorious bank robber who died in federal custody in 2005.CNN was unable to reach out to Alley's family for comment.According to Pinkston, Alley was hired to kill Pettyjohn and part of the contract was paid by a third party on behalf from the office of the former governor. There is no doubt that this was contract murder, said Pinkston. Tuesday a bigHamilton County jury voted that while Alley was still alive, there was sufficient evidence to charge him with the first Premeditated Murder to a degree in Pettyjohn's death. This confirmation by the grand jury of the findings of the investigation means that Pettyjohn's murder is officially closed, Pinkston said. Our Cold Case unit has devoted countless hours to resolving this unusual case. Hopefully this will bring closure and peace to the surviving members of Pettyjohn's family. Blanton served as governor from 1975 to 1979 and was replaced by Governor Lamar Alexander, who took office three days earlier due to the pardons and parole scandal, according to the National Governors Association . He died in 1996 and CNN was unable to join members of his family to comment on the matter.Blanton was never charged under the pardon and parole program, according to the press release, but members of his administration were, along with William Aubrey Thompson, a local Democratic boss of the county for the election campaign. de Blanton, who was later convicted. Blanton was later convicted of mail fraud and conspiracy to sell liquor licenses and served 22 months in prison, according to National Association of Governors. Links with Jimmy Hoffa According to details of the case in a DA press release, Pettyjohn was a businessman and owned several stores and nightclubs in the Chattanooga area. He maintained close ties with the Teamsters Union and was a personal friend of James Riddle Hoffa Sr., also known as Jimmy Hoffa, according to the commpress release.At the time of his murder, Pettyjohn had $ 100,000 worth of money and jewelry with him. The items were not removed from the Beverage Center company, which belonged to Pettyjohn, where he was shot. When police arrived, they found a briefcase belonging to Pettyjohn that contained a recording device with several recordings inside. This briefcase, recording device and tapes were removed from the crime scene and were never located, the statement read. Some witnesses say there were at least 40-50 recordings in total. Two witnesses in the Beverage Center parking lot at the time of the shooting described the suspect to police as an African-American man beefy with a beard and glasses. The suspect was wearing a trench coat, the statement said, and fired one or two shots in the air before fleeing. Police arrested two suspectss in 1982 and charged them with Pettyjohn, but those charges were dismissed because both men had alibis.The case remained unsolved and in 2015, when the Cold Affairs unit began a review and an investigation into all events surrounding Pettyjohn's homicide, according to the press release. During the investigation, officials interviewed several co-operative people who said Alley admitted to being paid between $ 25,000 and $ 50,000 for a release. They said Alley, who was white, wore face paint, a fake beard and glasses to hide his identity, according to the statement. Pettyjohn knew too much about the illegal activities and his cooperation with federal authorities placed other individuals Liberty, y including that of Governor Ray Blanton, is seriously threatened, the statement said. Pettyjohn's family pose with officials at the press conference. They included (from left to right): Jamica and Jamila, twin daughters of Saadiq Pettyjohn, Corine Carter, niece of Samuel Pettyjohn, Saadiq Pettyjohn (son of Samuel Pettyjohn) and his wife Tina, former municipal councilor of Chattanooga Leamon Pierce and District Attorney General Pinkston.One of Pettyjohn's sons, Saadiq, attended the District Attorney's press conference with his wife, sister and two daughters, and spoke on behalf of his 92-year-old mother and the whole family, according to the press release. It 'sa curse and a blessing to grow up in a family that is linked to crime, Saadiq Pettyjohn said in the press release. When that person dies, you can either go that way or you can take a different path, and we've all chosen to go a better path with education and trying to do better in our lives. He also thanked Pinkston and everyone involved in solving his father's murder.