Prosecutors in Pierce County say 49-year-old Jacqueline Ray and 37-year-old Luis Barker are behind the July murder of Leon Bauchman, Jr., the husband of Ray's daughter, Umeko Bauchman. Leon Bauchman's body was discovered July 12, less than a mile from Ray's home, in a ditch on a rural Key Peninsula. Officials say the 33-year-old father, discovered with his ankles, wrists, and eyes bound with duct tape, died from a gunshot wound to the back -- with the bullet entering below Bauchman's right shoulder blade, and later recovered from his lower left abdomen area. Authorities have determined the shot didn't kill him instantly; rather, Bauchman likely suffered.
"Murder-for-hire only works in the movies," Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist said in a statement announcing the charges. "Both defendants will be held accountable for this grisly killing."
According to charging documents, on July 11 Ray called Leon Bauchman and invited him to her home - saying his wife Umeko was there and would talk to him if he did. The couple had recently been in a fight, and although Leon Bauchman apparently suspected something was strange about the request (telling a friend by phone he thought it might be a setup designed to have him arrested), he nonetheless decided to make the trip to Gig Harbor.
From charging documents:
On July 13, detectives interviewed Ronald Pratt, a friend of Bauchman. Pratt told detectives he had been talking on the phone with Bauchman on Wednesday night July 11. Bauchman was upset that he could not find Umeko or the kids. Bauchman told Pratt he received a call from Umeko's mother, Jackie RAY. RAY told Bauchman that Umeko was at her house in Gig Harbor. RAY told Bauchman she wanted him to come over to her house in Gig Harbor. Bauchman asked to talk to Umeko, but RAY told him Umeko was too upset and that he just needed to get there.
However, when Leon Bauchman arrived at Ray's residence, prosecutors say it wasn't his wife or his kids he encountered - it was Barker, wielding a handgun, and another man, wielding a roll of light-colored duct tape.
More from charging documents:
RAY told detectives that on Wednesday July 11, Bauchman called RAY looking for Umeko. RAY told Bauchman that Umeko was at RAY'S Gig Harbor home. Bauchman agreed to drive there. RAY notified BARKER and he and a third man arrived approximately 30 minutes prior to Bauchman. RAY said BARKER was armed with a silver handgun. The other man had a roll of light colored duct tape. Bauchman arrived and knocked on the front door. RAY answered it. RAY immediately walked away and heard BARKER and the other man confront Bauchman. RAY described it as yelling and scuffling. RAY went outside and heard one gunshot. RAY said the commotion moved outside the front of her house so she went inside. RAY heard Bauchman moan and beg. Bauchman said he wouldn't bother Umeko anymore. RAY also heard tape being pulled and torn from the roll.
RAY said the noises continued and BARKER eventually came inside the house and told RAY he was taking her minivan and needed a bag to contain the blood. RAY gave him her keys and a tarp. BARKER showed RAY a blood spot on the dining room carpet that needed to be cleaned. BAUCHMAN also indicated there was more blood on the walkway. BARKER and the other man left with Bauchman. RAY cleaned the blood spot. She described it as the size of a baseball and said that was where they shot Bauchman. RAY washed blood from the front walkway. RAY burned all of the paper towels she used to clean up the blood. RAY said she then drove Bauchman's Cadillac Escalade back to Bauchman's grandmother's residence, where BARKER picked her up and returned RAY to her house.
While Ray initially denied being involved in the murder, charging documents indicate she later admitted her role in Bauchman's murder, and subsequently agreed to wear a wire and record a conversation with Barker.
From charging documents:
On August 1, detectives met with RAY and her attorney. RAY admitted to her participation in the murder of Bauchman. RAY told detectives that Bauchman had a long history of being very violent toward Umeko. RAY said the violence had increased recently and Umeko was afraid Bauchman would kill Umeko. RAY said that she recruited BARKER who was a man she knew had recently been released from prison. She spoke directly with BARKER. They met at a restaurant in Lakewood sometime between June 9th and June 11th, 2012. During the meeting she explained the situation and BARKER said "just beating him up might not help." RAY agreed. BARKER asked what RAY wanted done. RAY said, "what would you do if you were me?" BARKER replied, "okay." They agreed to on a price of $10,000. They met again in Lakewood on June 13 and she paid him $8,000.00. They had a third meeting in Lakewood during which she gave Luis the keys to Umeko and Bauchman's house and made another payment. Final payment was made during a meeting in Tacoma after the murder had been committed.
On August 7, detectives met with RAY. RAY agreed to wear a recording device in order to record a conversation with BARKER. RAY and BARKER met in Lakewood. Their conversation was recorded. Detectives heard BARKER tell RAY that the trace evidence such as blood would be contaminated due to the chemicals used to clean it up. BARKER told RAY that if the police had enough evidence they would have arrested her already. BARKER said the only blood spot would be the one on the carpet. BARKER discouraged RAY from replacing the carpet because it would look suspicious. RAY said she was haunted by the incident and BARKER told her it would get easier. RAY asked BARKER why he shot Bauchman in her house and BARKER replied that Bauchman was fighting them for the gun. BARKER said even though they pulled the gun on Bauchman he came at them and tried to grab the gun. It took both BARKER and his partner to get control of the situation. BARKER indicated Bauchman was a big man. BARKER said their plan had been to take Bauchman outside and have him walk to the car, tape him up. BARKER is heard to say "We weren't gonna do nothin' at the house. We were gonna leave the house...it's always hindsight...we should have did it this way and could have done it this way...didn't go the way it should have went....So I mean how do you want to look at it, I mean, it was for the better."
Ray and Barker were arraigned and charged with first-degree murder Monday, with bail set for Ray at $1 million and bail for Barker set at $3 million. The man who prosecutors say helped Barker with Leon Bauchman's murder - the guy who allegedly handled the duct tape - has yet to be identified and remains at large.
Find charging documents filed in the case against Jacqueline Ray on the following page ...