AP NEWS

Killer sentenced to life in prison

February 26, 2019

KINGMAN — The Kingman man who killed his friend and employer and kept it a secret while family and other friends searched for 18 months before the victim’s body was recovered has been sentenced to life in prison.

A legal requirement to impose a natural life prison term for a first-degree murder conviction sapped some of the dramafrom the sentencing hearing for

Alfredo Blanco, 63, at the Mohave County Courthouse.

Friends and relatives of the victim, 40-year-old Sid Cranston, apprised the court of their “unspeakable” pain and called Blanco a “coward’’ whose true punishment will come in the afterlife.

The victim’s brother, Chris Cranston, spoke of the heartache, despair and sleepless nights that came after Sid went missing in mid-June of 2015.

Blanco took aim at the man who helped convict him when he addressed Superior Court Judge Rick Lambert. Bill Sanders, 56, testified at trial that he had no idea Cranston had been murdered when Blanco asked him to come to a ranch east of Kingman.

Sanders testified that he helped bury Cranston after arriving at the homicide scene. Sanders never came forward until he flunked a polygraph test administered by an FBI agent in early 2017.

Sanders was recently placed on probation for his role in the Cranston burial.

“I’m not guilty,” Blanco said at his sentencing. “You guys are sending the wrong person to prison. It was Bill Sanders who killed him.”

Defense attorney Robin Puchek advised the court that he’ll stay on the case a little longer, taking time necessary to file Blanco’s appeal.

Judge Lambert tacked on a 1 1/2-year prison term for concealment of a dead body and tampering with physical evidence convictions. In theory, that time would be served after the natural life prison term.