How notorious Marine who urinated on Taliban corpses turned his girlfriend in for trying to hire him to kill her ex
‘…target of murder-for-hire helps police by own staging death’
Authorities arrested Buckingham (above), a veteran who served two tours in Iraq) on February 24 and she is currently in jail on a $150,000 bond facing a charge of criminal attempt to commit first-degree murder
A former Marine sniper who infamously urinated on the corpses of Taliban soldiers helped foil his girlfriend’s alleged murder-for-hire plot by leading her ex to fake his own death.
Joseph Chamblin was one of four soldiers recorded urinating on dead Taliban fighters in Afghanistan in 2011 – and faced a special court-martial before losing rank after the video surfaced the following year.
But now, he is credited with helping save the life of his girlfriend’s ex-boyfriend.
Laura Buckingham, 30, of Kingston, Tennessee, was arrested for criminal attempt to commit first-degree murder in February.
Joseph Chamblin began dating Buckingham (pictured together) in April last year after he returned home to Tennessee following the urination incident in Afghanistan
The former Marine sniper who infamously urinated on the corpses of Taliban soldiers helped foil his girlfriend Laura Buckingham’s (left and right) alleged murder-for-hire plot
Buckingham, a veteran who served two tours of Iraq, was caught after she allegedly gave $3,000 to an undercover agent to kill Sutherland, The Daily Beast reports.
But before that, she allegedly repeatedly asked Chamblin to make Sutherland ‘go away’ so she could have custody of their three-year-old son.
When Chamblin began to fear that she was serious about the plot, he decided to record some of their conversations – which he then handed over to police.
A former Marine sniper who infamously urinated on the corpses of Taliban soldiers helped foil his girlfriend Laura Buckingham’s (left and right) alleged murder-for-hire plot
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation launched a sting operation in February, with a member of the team going undercover.
‘I want him gone,’ she reportedly told the undercover agent. ‘I want him out of the picture.’Sutherland, 31, who is from Indiana but lives in Louisville, Kentucky, co-operated with cops to stage photos of his death inside a parking garage – before the ‘hitman’ reportedly returned to show the pictures to Buckingham.
All-In-A-Row: Joseph Chamblin was one of four soldiers recorded urinating on dead Taliban fighters in Afghanistan
‘When they brought me down to the police station and told me about this, the first I said is, ‘I’m being punked’,’ Sutherland told The Daily Beast.
And when he found about the fee his ex-girlfriend allegedly paid to have him killed, Sutherland added: ‘Are you f****** kidding me? My life’s only worth $3,000?’
But what is worse for Sutherland is not the price of his life, but that the mother of his child let a man she thought was an assassin near her son.
‘When the guy went to show the photos of my dead body – my son’s right there,’ he added.
‘The fact that she would let a hired killer into the house while my son is there hurts me more than taking an attempt on my life.’
Sutherland now has custody of their son.
And he was told by Chamblin that the job was originally offered to him. Instead, he went to authorities.
Chamblin told Sutherland that his response to Buckingham was: ‘I don’t think that would
be a very good idea. But I might know someone, though.’
Meanwhile, Chamblin said he went to authorities because he began to fear for himself and his children.
Chamblin left the Marine Corps in 2013 as a sergeant and returned home to Tennessee where he had a remodeling and construction business, according to The Daily Beast.
In April last year, he started dating Buckingham and they eventually moved in together in Kingston.
She left her job at a bakery without notice and joined Chamblin in Tennessee and was pregnant with his child.
Buckingham allegedly repeatedly asked Chamblin to make her ex Bradley Sutherland (above) ‘go away’ so she could have custody of their three-year-old son
But since moving to Tennessee, Buckingham had also been driving to Louisville every Sunday to exchange custody of her son with Sutherland, WATE reported.
She complained that the drive had become a financial burden and feared Sutherland may fight for full custody.
According to an incident report, she wanted Sutherland dead and then to have Chamblin ‘take the fall for it if something did go wrong.’
But Chamblin, who says he and Buckingham have now cut all ties, confided in authorities about his girlfriend’s plan because he feared for his and his children’s safety.
An order of protection has been issued against Buckingham for both Chamblin and Sutherland.
Chamblin (left and right, with Buckingham) says that when he began to fear that she was serious about the plot, he decided to record some of their conversations – which he then handed over to police
‘If she makes bond, I and my children will be in danger of repercussions,’ Chamblin wrote in an affidavit, according to the Sentinel. ‘She has threatened me in the past.’
Sutherland is grateful and says his actions took guts.
‘I owe the guy my life,’ Sutherland told The Daily Beast.
Authorities arrested Buckingham on February 24 and she is currently in jail on a $150,000 bond facing a charge of criminal attempt to commit first-degree murder.
‘[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,’ the Roane County Sheriff’s Office said.
Photo: The Courier-Journal
Laura Buckingham, baker and former bed and breakfast owner.
But one of Buckingham’s relatives says she had ‘very bad PTSD’ that led to at least two suicide attempts. The family member claims that she had become more isolated since she began dating Chamblin.
‘When she was around him she picked up ideas that were kind of foreign to what we knew about her. She would get standoffish and he was getting her to cut-off with her family I think,’ the unnamed relative told the Daily Beast.
‘I don’t know if he had something to do with pushing her over the edge, to want somebody dead—it’s crazy.
‘I truly think her boyfriend was encouraging her and then of course things went down where she was contracting with an undercover cop.’
After the notorious urination incident, Chamblin wrote a book called ‘Into Infamy: A Marine Sniper’s War.’
‘I didn’t see anything wrong with it,’ he told the Military Times in 2013.‘I would do it again. It wasn’t like we had some random Afghans laying there. They were insurgents, they had weapons and they were trying to kill us.’