Former Marine Behind Bars for Alleged Murder-for-Hire Plot
The marine allegedly recruited her new boyfriend to help kill her ex.
— -- A Marine-turned-baker in Indiana is behind bars after being accused of a "murder-for-hire" plot against her ex-boyfriend.
Laura Buckingham, 29, served two tours in Iraq before coming home and becoming a baker, even gracing the cover of Southern Living magazine for a piece on her transition from the Marine Corps.
Buckingham has a 3-year-old son with ex-boyfriend Bradley Sutherland. According to court documents, she wanted to end a contentious custody battle with Sutherland, and was frustrated about having to drive their son to his house every week. Buckingham allegedly recruited her new boyfriend, ex-sniper Joseph Chamblin, to help with the foiled murder plot.
Chamblin, who was court-martialed for being caught on video urinating on dead Taliban fighters, told police about the alleged plot.
Authorities say they set up an undercover sting, which involved a law enforcement undercover agent posing as a hit man, where Buckingham allegedly paid a $300 deposit for the murder – which cost $3,000, Roane County Sheriff's Office told ABC News. Police declined to release further details on the alleged murder plot because the case is pending.
“I thought it was a joke," Sutherland told ABC affiliate WHAS. “In all honesty, we thought we were being 'punked' for a short period of time.”
He continued: “Why? That's all I want to know, that's the only question I really have, the only thing I want to know, why? I don't feel angry. I feel kind of sad that she thought she did what she had to ... do that to try to take my son from me.”
Buckingham, who pleaded not guilty, is being held on $150,000 bond and will face a judge in May. It was revealed in court that she is also now pregnant.