(NEW YORK) — 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 murder.
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.
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