‘Murder for hire only works in the movies,’ prosecutor tells mom


SEATTLE -- They say hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. Coda: If you scorned a woman’s daughter, the fury gets ratcheted up a notch. Thus unfolds the tale in western Washington state of Jacqueline Ray, 49, and her dead son-in-law.

Ray, a resident of the quaint community of Gig Harbor, has been charged with first-degree murder in an alleged murder-for-hire plot in July. Ray’s daughter had apparently fled to a motel with her children to escape from her husband, who Ray said had repeatedly beaten her.

Also arrested and charged was Luis Rea Barker. Authorities say Ray hired Barker to kill the son-in-law, Leon Bauchman Jr., 33, after Ray lured him to her house with a false promise of seeing his wife.


“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 the charging documents, Ray’s daughter, Umeko Bauchman, had complained of a long history of domestic violence at her husband’s hands. After he had reportedly broken her eye socket in May, she obtained a restraining order against him and ordered him out of the couple’s home in Puyallup, Wash.

Recently, though, the couple had tried to reconcile, and Bauchman was back in the house when they had an argument on the morning of July 11 before she went to work, according to the documents. When she got off work that evening, she packed her bags and, with the help of her mother, arranged to stay in a nearby motel that night.

That same day, Ray had been scheduled to join her husband on a camping trip in central Washington, but was delayed by the drama with her daughter. In fact, she confessed later to Pierce County sheriff’s deputies that she met with Barker in a restaurant in Lakewood, Wash., to seek his help in dealing with her son-in-law. She was afraid he was going to kill her daughter, she told him.

“Just beating him up might not help,” he told her, according to an affidavit filed with the charging documents.

He asked her what she wanted done. “What would you do if you were me?” Ray asked.

“OK,” Barker replied.

They reportedly agreed on a price of $10,000. Ray gave him a down payment of $8,000 and the keys to her daughter’s house, according to the papers.


When Bauchman called Ray looking for his wife on July 11, she told him she was with her at her home, and he could see her if he came over, according to Ray’s interview with detectives. Ray alerted Barker, who allegedly showed up with an unidentified accomplice and a silver handgun.

When Bauchman arrived, Ray and the other man allegedly confronted him. Ray told police she could hear a scuffle, some shouting, and a gunshot, after which Bauchman could be heard moaning and begging as he was apparently being bound with duct tape.

The gunshot, authorities said, was not immediately fatal -- most likely, Bauchman suffered before he died.

“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,” the affidavit said. “Ray gave him her keys and a tarp.” Authorities said she proceeded to clean a bloodstain on the dining room carpet and more blood outside on the walkway, as Barker and his accomplice dumped the body off a road less than a mile away.

Ray eventually confessed after being confronted by sheriff’s deputies, and agreed to wear a wire during a subsequent conversation with Barker, according to court documents. She apparently berated Barker for doing the shooting in her own house.

It wasn’t supposed to happen that way, Barker reportedly told her. “We weren’t gonna do nothin’ at the house. We were gonna leave the house.… Didn’t go the way it should have went.… How do you want to look at it? I mean, it was for the better,” court documents detailing the conversation said.


Barker has prior convictions on robbery, drug and firearm charges, authorities said. The accomplice remains unidentified and at large. Both defendants have entered not guilty pleas and bail was set at $1 million for Ray and $3 million for Barker.


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