Marine veteran foils girlfriend’s murder-for-hire plot

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    Marine veteran Joseph Chamblin (left) and his fiancee Laura Buckingham (right) has been praised for stopping his girlfriend's alleged murder-for-hire plot.
    Marine veteran Joseph Chamblin (left) and his fiancee Laura Buckingham (right) has been praised for stopping his fiancee’s alleged murder-for-hire plot.

    A Marine veteran thrown into the spotlight for his involvement in urinating on dead Taliban combatants has now been applauded for stopping his fiancee’s plan to hire a hitman to kill her ex-boyfriend.

    Joseph Chamblin, a scout sniper was forced out of the Marine Corps — he eventually settled in Tennessee. He met and dated Laura Ann Buckingham, a fellow Marine.

    Cpl. Laura A. Buckingham
    Cpl. Laura A. Buckingham, a Eureka, Calif., native, and field radio operator with the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) communications section practices engaging targets while kneeling aboard a remote shooting range outside Camp Buehring, Kuwait, Sept. 20, 2007.

    Buckingham opened a cafe and eventually a Bread & Breakfast in downtown New Albany, Kentucky in late 2014, according to the Courier-Journal. The news piece describes her service in the military as being an eight-year veteran including tours in Iraq, Bangladesh, and two piracy campaigns in Somalia.

    Chamberlin and Buckingham grew closer and eventually became engaged. That’s when Chamblin learned of the custody battle she was facing with her ex-boyfriends over their 3-year-old son. She pleaded with him repeatedly to help make her ex “go away” using his military connections, according to the Knoxville News Sentinel.

    Chamblin grew worried and began recording their conversations — he eventually handed those over to local police authorities.

    The Marine veteran helped investigators set up a sting operation where his fiancee allegedly paid a member of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation part of the $30,000 agreed fee to murder Buckingham’s ex.

    “[Buckingham] acted with intent to complete a course of action that would constitute the offense of premeditated murder by hiring and paying another to kill Bradley Sutherland and thereby taking a substantial step toward the commission of that offense,” according to the sheriff’s release.

    Buckingham’s ex-boyfriend, Brad Sutherland was shocked when he learned of her plan, saying that he believed they always had a “civil relationship” with his former girlfriend. He told WLKY that he staged his own death in a parking lot with authorities so Buckingham could see her plan worked.

    Buckingham is charged with intent to commit first-degree murder and is currently in jail on $150,000 bail. Her first court appearance is May 2, 2016

    *this article originally reported that Buckingham was a soldier. We have since learned that Buckingham served as a Marine.

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