MARK T. BAILEY, d/o/b 10-10-1963, of Highlandville, Missouri, pleaded guilty to multiple felonies – including murder in the second degree – on Monday, January 22, 2018, in the Circuit Court of Taney County. Christian County Circuit Judge Laura Johnson accepted Bailey’s Alford plea of guilty to the class A felony of murder in the second degree, the class B felony of kidnapping, and the class C felony of felonious restraint. Johnson ordered a sentencing assessment report and scheduled Bailey’s sentencing for Friday, March 30, 2018.
The guilty pleas stem from crimes committed in November of 2015, when Bailey assisted Brandy Shaddox in purchasing zip ties at a local home improvement store; driving 72-year old Larry Adams, of Hollister, to a remote location off Highway 65 in Walnut Shade, Missouri; and leaving the victim bound in a car. Adams died of hypothermia after being abandoned by Bailey and Shaddox, and his body was discovered on November 14, 2015.
“While Mark Bailey was clearly not the most-culpable actor in causing Mr. Adams’ death, the crime would likely not have been able to be completed if not for Bailey’s cooperation with Shaddox,” says Taney County Prosecuting Attorney Jeff Merrell. Brandy Shaddox faces a jury trial for the charge of first-degree murder in Lawrence County in April. “I still anticipate we will be trying the case against Shaddox starting on April 23rd.” Shaddox’s trial was moved to Lawrence County on a change of venue filed by the lawyer for Shaddox.
Bailey entered his guilty plea under the Alford guidelines, meaning that Bailey admits that there is sufficient evidence to support him being convicted of the crimes, but while not accepting responsibility for them. As part of Bailey’s plea agreement with the Taney County Prosecuting Attorney’s office, Bailey’s potential sentenced is capped at twenty (20) years in prison, and Bailey’s lawyer is permitted to argue for some sentence less than twenty (20) years at the sentencing hearing. Bailey remains in custody at the Taney County jail pending sentencing.
The class A felony of murder in the second degree carries a range of punishment of ten (10) years up to thirty (30) years or life in the Missouri Department of Corrections. The class B felony of kidnapping carries a range of punishment of five (5) to fifteen (15) years in the Missouri Department of Corrections. The class C felony of felonious restraint carries a maximum sentence of seven (7) years in the Missouri Department of Corrections and/or a fine not to exceed $5,000.00.
Brandy Shaddox is presumed innocent until or unless she is proven guilty in a court of law.