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  • Writer's pictureKGMN


A Kingman man who killed his girlfriend’s mother was given a “life prison” sentence during a June 5 hearing at the Mohave County courthouse. The punishment is mandated in the plea agreement for Mark Baldonado, 32.

Superior Court Judge Derek Carlisle explained that Baldonado may never get out of prison but he would have to serve 25 calendar years before his release becomes possible.

Baldonado told the Court that he was messed up on drugs in the period leading up to the homicide. He said getting off drugs and finding God while jailed will help him rehabilitate and become a better person while incarcerated.

Baldonado pleaded guilty to first degree murder in the April 14, 2019 death of Shawn Vanover, 62. The victim is the mother of Baldonado’s girlfriend, Carrie Vanover, 21, who awaits trial for her involvement.

Authorities have said the victim was killed because she already had custody of one of her daughter’s children and threatened to take custody of her unborn son. Admissions made by the defendants were detailed during Baldonad’s previous change of plea hearing.

Prosecutor Jacob Cote said Vanover 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 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 and 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 a barrel that was buried under a homemade fireplace in the yard where they lived at 4583 Glenn Road.

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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