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Trial set for first-degree murder case

KINGMAN – Two Kingman residents who’ve reportedly confessed their involvement in the murder of a local woman and the burial of her body had separate status hearings in Mohave County Superior Court Monday, Feb. 24. Mark Baldonado, 32, and Carrie Vanover, 21, are charged with kidnapping, abandonment of a dead body and first-degree murder in the death of Vanover’s mother Shawn, 62.

Court records reveal the couple admitted killing the elder Vanover in a child custody dispute. A probable cause affidavit said the elder Vanover already had custody of her five-year-old granddaughter and had threatened to try to gain custody of her daughter’s unborn son.

The affidavit said that Baldonado struck the victim with a hammer more than once before shooting her twice in the head. The victim was encased in a 55-gallon drum and buried on her own property in the 4500 block of Glenn Road.

Defense attorney Elana Sears said Vanover is rejecting an offer to resolve her case short of trial.

“My client is really not interested in the plea (offer),” Sears said Monday. “Quite frankly there is little else to do at this time other than set it for trial.”

Mohave County Superior Court Judge Derek Carlisle scheduled Vanover’s week-long trial to begin July 20.

Baldonado’s case will track behind because he has just been appointed new counsel. Phoenix attorney Randy Craig will represent Baldonado after public defender Robin Puchek withdrew given discovery of a conflict involving a case witness.

  • Dave Hawkins

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