A man suspected of taking part in a murder-for-hire plot in Gig Harbor last year was ordered jailed in lieu of $1 million bail Monday.
Pierce County prosecutors are expected to make a decision by Wednesday about whether to charge J.R. Child, 23, in the death of Leon Baucham Jr.
Baucham’s mother-in-law, Jacqueline Ray, and co-defendant Luis Barker, already have been charged with first-degree murder in the case. They’ve pleaded not guilty.
Child was arrested Friday. Authorities said they could not discuss his alleged role in the homicide.
Baucham’s body was found July 11, 2012, just off the road in the 14900 block of 82nd Avenue Northwest, less than a mile from Ray’s home. His wrists, ankles and eyes were covered with duct tape and he was shot in the back.
Prosecutors contend Ray agreed to pay Barker $10,000 to kill Baucham because her son-in-law had a long history of beating her daughter, Umeko Baucham. Ray feared one day Baucham would kill her daughter, according to charging papers.
Although Ray’s daughter had a no-contact order against Baucham at the time of his death, the couple had tried to reconcile and Baucham was back staying in their Puyallup home, court records show.
After an argument July 11, 2012, Umeko Baucham allegedly packed her bags and asked her mother for help finding a motel to stay in that night.
Ray later confessed to detectives that she met Barker, who was fresh out of prison, at a Lakewood restaurant that night and asked for help taking care of her son-in-law. She gave Barker an $8,000 down payment and the keys to her daughter’s house, court records show.
When Baucham called Ray July 11 looking for his wife, Ray allegedly lured him to her home with the false promise of seeing Umeka Baucham. She then called Barker, who arrived at Ray’s house with a handgun and an unidentified man.
Child is believed to be that unidentified man, who, according to court records, helped confront Baucham and brought the duct tape.
Ray told detectives she heard the sounds of a scuffle, a single gunshot and Baucham moaning and begging. She said Barker then told her he needed to borrow her minivan and a bag to contain the blood.
After they left, Ray cleaned the blood stains with paper towels, which she later burned, court records show. She admitted to driving Baucham’s Cadillac Escalade to his grandmother’s house.
Barker was arrested Aug. 7, 2012 after detectives had Ray wear a wire and record Barker discussing what happened the night Baucham was killed.