SALT LAKE CITY – 15-year-old Baleigh Bagshaw was talking with her mother on the phone as she returned to her Salt Lake City home after school on May 7, 2018. Waiting for her was Shaun French, a man in his 20s with whom she had been in an intimate relationship.
French had broken into the home then stabbed Bagshaw several times as she came in, almost decapitating her. The girl had tried to fight back but was no match. Her mother listened as her daughter was killed.
Prosecutors say he was upset after Bagshaw broke off the relationship, which had started when she was 14-years-old and French was living at the home. After a two day manhunt, he was arrested in Colorado.
Earlier this year, French pleaded guilty to aggravated murder in exchange for prosecutors not pursuing the death penalty.
On Tuesday, he was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Third District Judge Paul Parker told the girl’s family before sentencing that, “I cannot make it better. I cannot ease your pain.”
After receiving intimate photos of her daughter from French, Bagshaw’s mother Shawna had confronted her daughter, who agreed to report him to the police.
He had already been threatening the teen since she broke off the relationship.
However, Baleigh also told French that she was reporting him to law enforcement. Prosecutors say that’s when he decided to drive from Ohio, where he was staying, to Salt Lake City to murder the girl.
Shawna Bagshaw and other family members spoke before the sentencing, remembering Baleigh as an outgoing girl who loved animals.
But they also asked French why he couldn’t have turned himself into police or admitted that he had raped and molested the teen.
“I really miss being able to hold my daughter and talk to her, and I’ll never get to do that again,” Shawna Bagshaw said.
When the judge asked whether French wanted to say anything at his sentencing, he replied, “No sir.”
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