NEWPORT/KINGSTON (WATE) – Two court cases are moving forward, one involving the death of a Cocke County woman and the other a murder-for-hire case out of Roane County, both of the accused faced a judge Monday.
19-year-old McKinley Cody is facing murder and robbery charges and Laura Buckingham was arrested for trying to hire someone to kill her ex-boyfriend. She is charged with criminal attempt to commit first degree murder.
Lora Costner is a victim who the Cocke County Sheriff’s Office says died of blunt force trauma to the head. The sheriff’s office charged McKinley Cody with first degree murder, robbery, second degree murder and abuse of a corpse. Costner went missing in January and her body was found two months later on a property on Lane Drive in Newport.
Joyce Hale, Costner’s sister, plans to be in the courtroom for every hearing in this case.
“My sister was an amazing person and she was violently murdered and she deserves justice and I want him to know that we’re there,” said Hale.
McKinley Cody is also facing a criminal conspiracy charge, he is scheduled to be in court for that charge on May 4.
Cody was appointed an attorney and has a plea date set for July 12. Cody is still behind bars on a $1,000,000 bond.
Another case we’ve been following this one in Roane County with 29-year old Laura Buckingham. Her case was bound over to the Roane County Grand Jury. She’s accused of trying to hire a hitman to kill her ex-boyfriend Bradley Sutherland who lived in Indiana.
“It’s all; it’s really just all a shock, why? Only question I have, only thing I really want to know,” said Sutherland.
The Roane County Sheriff’s Office and 9th District Attorney’s Office says Buckingham and Bradley Sutherland have joint custody of their three-year-old son. According to our sister station WHAS in Louisville, Kentucky, Sutherland told them he thought he and his ex-girlfriends relationship was civil.
Buckingham waived her right to a preliminary hearing.