Second trial begins in murder of Kingman real estate agent
KINGMAN — The second trial of a man accused of killing a Kingman real estate agent began Tuesday with jury selection.
Alfredo Gerardo Blanco, 62, is charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of Sidney Cranston Jr., whose body was found about 18 months after his murder, buried on a remote property east of Kingman.
Blanco also is charged with tampering with physical evidence and concealing a dead body. He is being held in county jail without bond. His first trial ended in a mistrial in September.
At a recent hearing, Superior Court Judge Rick Lambert denied several motions including a motion to dismiss the charges due to double jeopardy and for a change of venue to a different courtroom.
During the first trial, Deputy Mohave County Attorney Bob Moon argued that on June 16, 2015, Blanco took Cranston, 40, up to a 200-acre ranch about 20 miles east of Kingman where Blanco allegedly shot Cranston with a 12-gauge shotgun, leaving him to die.
Blanco’s attorney, Robin Puchek, laid the blame on William Sanders, who also was at the ranch when Cranston was murdered. Sanders also kept the secret of the murder for 18 months. Puchek said it was possible that Sanders had shot at a snake and accidentally hit Cranston.
Blanco, a handyman who worked for Cranston, allegedly used a backhoe to dump Cranston’s body in a hole that the defendant had dug. Sanders reportedly helped Blanco move and bury the body.
Cranston’s remains were discovered Jan. 7, 2017, buried behind a barn on the ranch. Cranston death was later ruled a homicide. Cranston and Blanco’s phones were both located in Kingman on that day and Blanco’s phone was also located at the ranch.
Kingman police officers interviewed Blanco in June 2015 when it was still a missing person case. FBI agents arrested Blanco on Jan. 11, 2017, at a Phoenix medical facility.
Sanders pleaded guilty to concealing a dead body and is awaiting his sentence. He could be sentenced to up to one year in county jail.