Woman who hired hit man to kill son-in-law apologizes

Gig Harbor, Wash. — A Gig Harbor woman who admitted hiring a hit man to kill her son-in-law was sentenced to more than 18 years in prison on Friday. Jacqueline Ray, 51, told investigators she hired Luis Barker to murder Leon Bauchum in July 2012 because he repeatedly abused her daughter Umeko and she feared for her daughter’s life.  Bauchum, 33, was beaten and shot before being dumped in a ditch near Gig Harbor. His hands and feet were bound with duct tape and there was tape over his eyes.

“My mother is not an evil person,” Umeko Bauchum told Judge Stanley Rumbaugh during her mother’s sentencing hearing. She asked for the lowest possible sentence for her mother. “She was really trying to protect myself and my children,” Bauchum said. “My mother did not do what she did because she had any hate or didn’t want me to be with Leon.”

Ray said nothing about Bauchum’s murder or her motive, but said she was sorry. “It is my hope with my sentencing here today, with God’s mercy, everyone would someday forgive me.”

Ray was sentenced to 18 years in prison after pleading guilty to a reduced charge of second degree murder.  The man she hired to kill Bauchum, Luis Barker, also pleaded guilty. Barker was sentenced to 29 years in prison.

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