A Roane County woman was sentenced last week after pleading guilty last year to trying to hire a hitman to kill her ex-boyfriend. Laura Buckingham was sentenced to 10 years’ supervised probation and will not have to serve any additional jail time.
The man Buckingham tried to hire to kill her ex-boyfriend turned out to be a TBI agent. Buckingham entered a guilty plea back in December to solicitation to commit first-degree murder. Buckingham, a former Marine, admitted she had spoken in February 2016 with an a man who turned out to be an undercover TBI agent to have Brad Sutherland, a resident of New Jersey and father of her child, killed. There are reportedly two separate audio recordings of their conversations.
Buckingham’s then live-in boyfriend, himself a former Marine sniper, tipped off the Roane County Sheriff’s Office that Buckingham was trying to get him to help her find someone to kill Sutherland, at which point District Attorney General Russell Johnson called in the TBI.
Buckingham was released on bail shortly after her arrest in March 2016, because she was pregnant at the time.