BRANSON, Mo. – A Lake of the Ozarks woman is under arrest for conspiracy to commit murder of her 74-year-old ex-husband’s mother. Court documents say that Leigh Ann Bauman, 43, wanted to hire people from St. Louis for $1,500 to make the death “look like an accident.”
Prosecutors said that she believed her former mother-in-law was interfering with her relationship with her children and she could lose full custody. She believed the case was heading to court.
KRCG-TV reports that her children refused to go with her when she tried to pick them up one day. She allegedly sent them a chilling text message later saying that their “grandmother would die.”
Bauman’s ex-husband confronted her about the creepy message. She explained that she really meant that the grandmother, “was old and was going to die.”
Court documents state that Bauman asked a 40-year-old friend for help to hire a hitman. The friend asked if she was serious. Bauman allegedly replied, “No, I want a hitman, somebody to get rid of her.”
The friend told Bauman that she knows people in St. Louis that could help. But, explained that the people she could get are “serious” and “once you tell them to kill someone, they don’t stop.”
The friend asked her if she wanted to think about it. Bauman told the friend that “she knew it was wrong as a Christian, but she would go to church and ask for forgiveness after it was done.”
The concerned friend called her attorney for help. She was worried about calling the police or Bauman’s former mother-in-law because of her political connections.
A secretly recorded conversation on Tuesday night between the friend and Bauman has her saying that $1,500 for a hitman sounded like “a reasonable price.” She wanted her former mother-in-law to be killed at her Hermann home and that it should look like an accident.
Missouri State Highway Patrol troopers paid Bauman a visit on Thursday. She tried to blame everything on the friend and explained that she was just venting about her mother-in-law. She said the friend made the “hitman” part up.
Officers had a hard time keeping her on topic during the interview. She called her lawyer who did not answer the phone. Then called the Lake Ozark Mayor on speakerphone with the troopers and asked him what she should do. He told her to tell the truth and it will all be fine. She eventually ended the interview by saying she had a botox appointment to get to.
Bauman was placed under arrest. Camden County prosecutors requested a no bond warrant on Bauman since she has ties to several states, finances, danger to the victim.
The Daily Beast reports that her former mother-in-law told the court during a bail hearing that: “Right now, I’m scared to death that if she would be out she not only would want to hurt me, she wouldn’t hesitate to hurt her daughters to get even with me. And she wouldn’t hesitate to hurt my children because she knows it would destroy me.”
Bauman left jail weeks later on a $400,000 bond. Her ex-husband then filed for an order of protection for himself and his children.