Laura Buckingham
Iraq war veteran Laura Buckingham is alledged to have plotted to have her ex-partner killed over a custody battle over their son Roane County Sherriff's Office

A former marine sniper who was drummed out of the armed forces for urinating on a Taliban soldier's corpse has foiled his girlfriend's alleged murder-for-hire plot. Joseph Chamblin was one of four soldiers caught on video in 2011 desecrating the corpse in Afghanistan, which led him to face a court martial.

Last April Chamblin began a relationship with another ex-soldier, Laura Buckingham, who had served two tours in Iraq. As the pair began to live together Buckingham told Chamblin that she was embroiled in a custody battle with her former boyfriend over their three-year-old son. She was alleged to have asked Chamblin to make her ex-partner "go away" with the help of his military contacts.

Chamblin recorded some of the couple's conversations before handing them over to Tennessee police. Earlier this month, a sting operation was launched where a member of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation poised as a killer and received part of a $30,000 (£21,635) fee for a contract to murder Buckingham's ex-partner Brad Sutherland.

Sutherland said that he was shocked when he was told of Buckingham's plot and that he had been under the illusion that they had always had a "civil" relationship, even after their split.

Last month Buckingham wrote a post on Facebook saying: "Sometimes, the person you'd take a bullet for ends up being the one behind the gun."

Buckingham has now been charged with intent to commit first-degree murder and is currently in jail on $150,000 bail. An unnamed relative of Buckingham's said that the former US soldier had suffered from "very bad PTSD", had attempted suicide and that she had become more isolated since dating Chamblin.

Sutherland currently has custody of his and Buckingham's son.

In September 2012, a court martial ordered Chamblin to be reduced in rank. He left the Marine Corps with an honourable discharge the following month.