In a Mohave Superior Court hearing that took about 15 minutes, the first-degree murder case of Alfredo Blanco was scheduled for review on April 17 to allow additional time for attorneys to sort through three large binders of evidence.
Blanco, 61, is charged with the murder of Kingman real estate agent Sidney Cranston Jr., whose body was discovered in January buried on a ranch east of town. Cranston had been missing for 19 months.
In Monday’s case management conference, Judge Steven Conn told both attorneys that he had authorized expenditures for an investigator.
Defense attorney Robin Puchek said he would need more time for the disclosure review. The state still has time to file a motion to seek the death penalty in the case, he noted. Other options are life in prison and life with a possibility of parole.
Prosecutor Bob Moon said he will bring in legal staff for death penalty determination. In addition to reviewing disclosure binders with redactions, they’ll be looking at CDs and DVDs, so the disclosure process is ongoing, he said.
Blanco, who was arrested Jan. 11 and is being held without bond, pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder charges, concealment of a dead body and tampering with evidence.
Codefendant Bill Sanders, who led authorities to Cranston’s body, has also pleaded not guilty to concealment of a dead body and tampering with evidence. He is not seen as a flight risk and is free on his own recognizance.
Blanco worked as a handyman and property manager for Cranston, and had collected about $1,600 in rental payments when he last met with Cranston.
Sanders had known Blanco for many years, and allegedly told detectives that Blanco shot Cranston with a shotgun inside a home on Wilson Ranch Road.