A Trump-supportin’, Jesus-lovin’ self-described “pistol-packing cheer mom” from Missouri has been arrested for allegedly hiring a hitman to kill her former mother-in-law.
Leigh Ann Bauman, a 44-year-old real estate agent/actress, faces a felony charge for conspiracy to commit murder for allegedly preparing to pay a hitman $1,500 to take out her ex-mother-in-law. She was arrested in March after her friend provided the local law enforcement with recordings of Bauman admitting to a diabolical murder-for-hire plot, reports the Daily Beast.
Behind Leigh Ann Bauman’s Alleged for Murder-for-Hire Plot
According to the friend — who is identified in Camden County court documents as “CK” –, Bauman wanted to kill her mother-in-law because she believed the grandmother was putting a strain on Bauman’s relationship with her kids. Bauman believed that the mother-in-law and her ex-husband were attempting to get full custody of their children.
Court documents alleged that before going to CK, Bauman went to try and pick up her kids, but they refused to go with her. Afterward, Bauman allegedly texted her daughter: “Just because your grandma WILL die soon, please do not throw your REAL mother under the bus.”
When the children told their father about the text message, Bauman’s ex-husband allegedly confronted his former wife, according to court documents. Bauman reportedly him “she just meant [the grandmother] was old and was going to die”, the court records said. It was then when Bauman reportedly turned CK to ask for leads on a prospective hitman.
Bauman texted CK: “Do you know anybody?”, court documents allege. CK reportedly responded by asking if Bauman was trying to purchase marijuana, but the aspiring actress responded, “No, I want a hitman, somebody to get rid of her”.
When CK asked if Bauman was serious, the realtor replied that “she knew it was wrong as a Christian, but she would go to church and ask for forgiveness after it was done,” a probable cause statement says. Then, CK told Bauman knew people in St. Louis that could assist her, documents say. However, CK allegedly warned, the people she could get are “serious” and “once you tell them to kill someone, they don’t stop.”
Bauman reportedly told her she was certain this was what she wanted to do.
After the initial text exchange, CK recorded a follow-up, in-person conversation, during which she pretended to have found a hitman.
“Oh okay, that’s a reasonable price,” Bauman reportedly said after CK told her the hitman’s fee was $1,500.
According to the court records, Bauman told CK that she didn’t want to meet or know anything about the hitmen. She also specified that she didn’t want her mother-in-law to be killed at the Lake of the Ozarks, but at her house in Hermann.
Bauman’s Bizarre Arrest
After being tipped off by CK’s lawyer, law enforcement officials from the Missouri State Highway Patrol visited Bauman’s residence in Mach, reports local CBS affiliate KRCG. When troopers explained to Bauman why they were there, the realtor “gasped and blamed everything on the witness”, say court records. Bauman told officers CK was a “hustler” attempting to get money from her, and that it was CK who had come up with the murder-for-hire plan.
State troopers said Bauman kept going off-topic during the interview. At one point, Bauman called the Lake Ozark mayor Gerry Murawski and put him on speakerphone. She asked the mayor what she should do, and the Mayor told her to “tell the truth and she would be fine.”
Bauman interrupted the meeting to go to a botox appointment, which she refused to cancel. When they resumed the meeting later in the afternoon, Bauman “again talked extensively about things that had nothing to do with why we were speaking to her, and talked very briefly about the incident,” say court documents.
Officers asked Bauman if she’d told CK she would pay $1,500 for the hitman, Bauman replied that she’d had a couple of glasses of wine, “so she does not necessarily remember.”
Troopers arrested Bauman on March 4. During Bauman’s bail hearing on March 16, her 74-year-old mother-in-law told the court, “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.”
The judge originally ruled that the defendant was dangerous and denied her release, but Bauman was later released on a $400,000 bond. A Miller County judge has granted Bauman’s ex an order of protection after he accused Bauman of emotional and physical abuse, frequent threats, and disturbing behavior — like pulling a gun on a pizza delivery person.
“My daughters, my family and I have endured so much emotional and psychological damage from Leigh Ann Bauman’s actions over the past 15 years,” he wrote in a petition. “Now, her most recent actions of attempting to hire a hitman to kill my mother, have proven that she will stop at nothing if she feels/thinks/imagines someone is not doing what she wants”.
But Bauman is not without supporters. Serafino Cazzani, her Italian power boat-racing boyfriend, created a short-lived GoFundMe page titled “My friend Leigh was drugged, conned, manipulated” and posted it on Facebook with the words: “The truth will blow your mind.”
Bauman is scheduled for a pre-trial conference on December 22, according to online court records. She will be represented by defense attorneys Fawzy Smith and Dean Price, Jr.. from Springfield. If Bauman is convicted of the alleged murder, she faces up to 10 years in prison.