Indiana Baker Who Liked to ‘Make Weird Breads’ Accused of Murder-for-hire Plot


Posing in an apron last fall on the cover of Southern Indiana Living as she rolled dough with her 3-year-old in her lap, Laura Anne Buckingham looked like the picture of domesticity.

But the 5-foot-4, 110-pound former Marine who served two tours in Iraq said she was never a “domestic diva.”

She boxed in high school, won a Toughman contest and rejected a modeling career to prove herself in the Marine Corps, her stepfather said. And even as a baker, she tested the limits.

“I like to do weird breads,” Buckingham told a (Louisville) Courier-Journal food writer in 2014 for a story about Bread and Breakfast, her café and bakery in downtown New Albany, Ind. “Because I have never had formal training, I don’t have a level of appropriateness, and I have no restraints.”

She may well have been talking about her life, if allegations against her are true.

Buckingham, 29, is sitting in a jail in Roane County, Tenn., 40 miles west of Knoxville, charged with attempted first-degree murder for paying a man she thought was a contract killer to murder a former boyfriend who is the father of her child.

According to court papers, frustrated with having to make weekly trips from her new home in Tennessee to deliver her son for visits with Bradley Sutherland — and fearful she might lose custody altogether — Buckingham allegedly turned to a new boyfriend, Joseph Chamblin, an ex-Marine sniper who was court-martialed for urinating on the bodies of Taliban fighters in Afghanistan, and asked if he could make Sutherland “go away.”

At first, Chamblin thought she was joking, according to an incident report. But when she repeated her request and asked for details about how it could be accomplished, he began secretly recording her and eventually turned over the recordings to the RoaneCounty Sheriff’s Office.

A detective who listened to the recordings said in a report that “it was clear Laura was not joking.”

And when she was introduced to a Tennessee Bureau of Investigations agent posing as a hit man, she allegedly agreed to pay him $30,000 for the job and turned over part of the money.

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SOURCE: Andrew Wolfson
The (Louisville, Ky.) Courier-Journal , WFAA