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Killer Pleads Guilty


A Kingman woman was killed because she already had custody of one of her daughter’s children and threatened to take custody of her unborn son. Admissions defendants made in the murder of Shawn Vanover, 62, were detailed Wednesday in Mohave County Superior Court.

Mark Baldonado, 32, pleaded guilty to first degree murder. He must serve at least 25 years in prison when sentenced June 5.


Prosecutor Jacob Cote said Carrie Vanover, 21, was pregnant when she and Baldonado conspired to kill her mother to prevent her from taking custody of their son. Cote said Vanover told authorities the murder occurred on April 14, 2019, a month before her son was born.

The younger Vanover reportedly gave her mother some pills. Hours later, Baldonado clubbed her with a hammer, knocking her to the floor.


Cote said Baldonado told investigators that he blacked out remembers becoming alert while he stood over the bleeding Vanover while he clutched the hammer. The prosecutor said Baldonado then used a pillow to fire through as he shot Vanover in the head and chest.



Cote said the victim’s body was placed in barrel that was buried under a homemade fireplace in the yard where they lived at 4583 Glenn Road. The murder occurred one month before Vanover’s son was born.


Cote said Arizona Department of Child Safety personnel took custody of the baby boy following his birth on May 15, 2019. He said they were investigating the possible kidnapping of the younger Vanover’s daughter.


Cote said they were unable to locate the girl or the elder Vanover and that the eventual suspects were not helpful when contacted. Cote said a nurse had spotted the girl with her mom when the younger Vanover was at the hospital.

The younger Vanover reportedly confessed when a search warrant was served at the Glenn Road property. Vanover remains jailed, awaiting trial.

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