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Camden County, Mo. prosecutor charges realtor for murder-for-hire conspiracy involving ex-mother-in-law

Published: Mar. 5, 2021 at 1:07 PM CST|Updated: Mar. 5, 2021 at 5:29 PM CST
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CAMDENTON, Mo. (KY3) - The Camden County prosecutor filed charges against a realtor in a scheme to kill her ex-mother-in-law.

Leigh Ann Bauman, 43, of Lake Ozark, faces a charge of conspiracy to commit murder, which is a class C felony. Prosecutors asked a judge for no bond because of her finances and danger to the victim.

Investigators with the Missouri Highway Patrol’s Division of Drug and Crime Control were contacted by a witness.

”The local realtor had several political connections and the witness was aware of these political connections,” says Camden County Prosecutor Caleb Cunningham. “Out of an abundance of caution, DDCC was used to avoid any hint of impropriety.”

The witness taped a conversation involving Bauman. The witness told investigators Bauman asked the witness to hire individuals from St. Louis to make the death of her ex-mother-in-law look like an “accident.” Investigators say she offered them $1,500 to kill her in Hermann, Mo. Investigators say Bauman was asked multiple times if she was sure about the hire. Investigators say she told them she knew as a Christian it was wrong, but she could ask for forgiveness.

Investigators say Bauman believed the ex-mother-in-law was interfering with the relationship Bauman had with her children. According to a probable cause statement, Bauman told the witness her ex-mother-in-law was the reason there was a strain in Bauman’s relationship with her daughter.

Court documents say Bauman believed her ex-husband and ex-mother-in-law were going to take Bauman to court for full custody of the children. Investigators say a text message from Bauman to her children read “your grandmother will die.”

Highway patrol troopers went to Bauman’s home. Bauman told troopers she “had lunch with the Mayor earlier in the day.” While troopers were at Bauman’s home, she called the Lake Ozark Mayor. Court documents say Bauman asked the mayor what she should do and “the mayor told Bauman to tell the truth and she would be fine.”

Investigators say the ex-mother-in-law has not been harmed and her location is being kept private to protect her.

“The safety of the victim is paramount to my office and law enforcement,” Cunningham says. “She is concerned and we are concerned for her safety.”

Bauman is in jail without bond. Cunningham says because of her ties to the community and access to money, there are concerns she would leave the state easily.

“Based on the serious nature of the charge, based on the danger to the victim, based on the defendant’s ability to fund herself, based on her connections to out of state,” Cunningham says. “We simply don’t want her escaping the state before trial.”

Court documents say when arrested, Bauman said she would be getting out very shortly.

If convicted, Bauman faces up to 10 years in prison.

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