Gilbert Murderer Headed Behind Bars After Killing Wife in 2017

The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office (MCAO) announced the sentencing on Friday for Mark Eric Ponsati, 42, of Gilbert, Arizona, for murdering his wife in 2017 and attempting to pass the crime as an accident.

Maricopa Superior Court Judge Michael Blair ordered Ponsati put away in the Arizona Department of Corrections for the next 25 years, the maximum penalty for second-degree murder.

“This two-month trial concluded today with the maximum sentence for this defendant, and this means a sense of closure and justice for the family and friends who cared deeply for this victim,” said County Attorney Rachel Mitchell (R). “To the prosecutor and the victim advocates who worked tirelessly to bring justice to this family, I commend them because their work fulfills the duty bestowed upon this office: to hold criminals accountable and bring justice to victims.”

According to the MCAO, the crime occurred on September 7th, 2017, when Gilbert Police responded to a call from Ponsati. He claimed his wife had slipped on a puddle in the bathroom and hit her head on the bathtub. She was taken to a nearby hospital but pronounced dead soon after.

However, after medical examination, Ponsati’s story did not appear to hold up, as investigators said his wife’s injuries appeared much more severe than one slip could cause. She had multiple blunt force injuries like broken ribs, a fractured skull, and spine bruising likely caused by violent shaking, plus a large laceration to the back of the head.

Moreover, when the incident occurred, KTAR News reported that court documents revealed it appeared Ponsati had tried to stage the incident. Investigators found blood in the house, away from the bathroom, and Ponsati had washed the clothes he wore at the time of the incident. Moreover, family members told investigators the pair had a rocky marriage. They said that Ponsati suspected his wife was cheating on him and threatened to kill her should she ever leave him.

Not long after the murder, Ponsati was arrested and charged, eventually leading to this new sentencing.

“I have been waiting for 5 years and 8 months to speak about my precious daughter. The pain is indescribable, especially when I heard about all the injuries she received,” said the victim’s mother during the sentencing.

Furthermore, Mitchell also announced that the county grand jury had indicted Zion William Teasley for first-degree murder. Teasley is accused of murdering Lauren Heike, who was found dead in the desert area outside of a North Phoenix neighborhood in April. Heike was stabbed multiple times, with her wounds being linked to a pocketknife Teasley was known to carry. He also identified himself as the suspect to the police. However, an indictment does not mean Teasley is proven guilty.

“My heart goes out to the victim’s family and the pain they are experiencing losing their loved one in this manner,” said Mitchell. “Our office will work diligently to seek justice for Lauren and her family.”

The MCAO also recently revealed an indictment for another murder, Arizona mother, Lori Vallow. As reported by Fox 10, on May 12th, Vallow, known as the ‘Doomsday Mom,’ was found guilty of murdering her two children, Tylee and JJ, by an Idaho jury. However, even after being sentenced for these crimes, her days in court may not be over.

According to the indictment, the county grand jury is accusing Vallow of first-degree premeditative murder, alleging she or her brother Alexander Cox, planned to harm Brandon Bourdreaux, the ex-husband of her niece. An attempt was made on Bourdreaux’s life in 2019 when he told police someone shot at him out of the window of a vehicle outside of his rental home but missed. He said he had only been staying there for a few weeks and suspected Vallow was involved because she was one of few people who knew where he lived.

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Neil Jones is a reporter for The Arizona Sun Times and The Star News Network. Follow Neil on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Background Photo “Jail” by Carles Rabada.


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