KINGSTON (WATE) – A Roane County woman was indicted by a Grand Jury Tuesday after being charged for a murder-for-hire plot.
Laura Ann Buckingham was arrested in February after investigators believed she tried to hire someone to kill her ex-boyfriend, Bradley Sutherland. She gave an undercover police officer $300 down payment for the job.
Buckingham and Sutherland have a 3-year-old son and had joint custody. Sutherland lives in Indiana. Buckingham drove the child to Louisville, Kentucky every week for an exchange of custody. However, Sutherland claims the suspect thought the drive was causing her a financial burden.
Investigators believe Buckingham came up with the idea because she did not want to lose custody of her son. Her boyfriend at the time, Joe Chamblin, contacted police after hearing the suspect say she wanted Sutherland “gone.”
Before moving to Tennessee late last year, Buckingham lived in New Albany, Indiana, running an up-and-coming cafe.
She was interviewed by Bobby Bass with a New Albany real estate company, Bass Group Real Estate, in November 2014 spotlighting her business. He said from the outside looking in everything appeared to be normal.
“She was becoming kind of a prominent local entrepreneur with her Bread and Breakfast shop, you know cover of magazines, people doing articles on her,” said Bass.
In late 2015 Buckingham closed her cafe and left New Albany without much warning.
“What I had heard from some local entrepreneurs was she’s gone. She just packed up and moved to Tennessee, so it was very awkward because that’s just abnormal behavior to begin with but especially with someone that was owning a business that was doing so well,” said Bass.
In February Buckingham was behind bars accused of trying to hire someone to kill her ex-boyfriend. When the news hit New Albany, people were shocked.
“The first reaction was is this a prank or something of that nature,” said Bass. “These are not normal things that are happening in our community usually. The Kentucky Derby is usually the biggest thing that you’ll hear about around here.”
Buckingham will not be in court for her arraignment Monday. Her attorney plans to file a waiver.Related:Roane County woman charged in murder-for-hire plot