Photo by Hubble Ray Smith.
KINGMAN – Superior Court Judge Rick Lambert listened to accused murderer Al Blanco tell his story Friday about receiving inadequate medical attention during his 10 months in Mohave County Jail, then accepted five exhibits from the state that proved otherwise.
He denied Blanco’s handwritten motion to seek better care from doctors outside the jail and set the next court hearing for 1:30 p.m. Nov. 6.
Blanco, 61, is charged with the June 2015 murder of real estate agent Sidney Cranston Jr., whose body was discovered in January on a ranch east of Kingman.
Prosecuting attorney Bob Moon showed a 3½-inch binder containing about 300 pages of medical records on Blanco, probably more than a normal person’s lifetime, he said.
The medical records document Blanco’s two falls from his wheelchair while in custody, once in January and again in June. There were doctor assessments, X-rays taken and pain medications prescribed.
Blanco was recommended to perform rehabilitation exercises from his wheelchair, but won’t do them, Moon said. He also refused four medical appointments.
On July 31, Blanco was taken to Mountain West Imaging for a bone scan and was found to have osteopenia, a precursor to osteoporosis, which means he has thin and brittle bones susceptible to fractures.
He’s seen a cardiologist, a dentist and nurse practitioner at least three times, and he’s had lab work performed six times, Moon added.
Public defendant attorney Robin Puchek, when asked by the judge for burden of proof, said he was “frankly satisfied” by Moon’s presentation and had no objections.
He then turned it over to his client, who refuted Moon’s statements.
Blanco said he was left on the floor for five minutes after his first fall.
“They brought a little pack of ice. ‘Put in your back.’ That’s it,” he said.
He fell again in June and said the nurse didn’t come until the next day. They put him in the medical ward but never took any X-rays, and the doctor didn’t see him for two days, he said.
Blanco seemed somewhat confused by questions from both Moon and his own attorney, who asked him if he had a bone scan in July. Blanco first answered “no,” but upon further questioning changed it to “yes.”
There were other conflicting stories by Blanco, including whether he was examined by the nurse practitioner.
“No. She didn’t examine me. She said I look fine,” Blanco said.
Puchek started asking Blanco about his loss of memory while in prison, and Moon objected, saying this hearing was about his medical treatment, not memory loss. The judge agreed.
“My concern is the medical issues are hurting his ability to read and understand what’s going on, and evidently it’s not,” Puchek said.
Lambert said it seems the state “has been on top of this,” and when doctors have tried to get Blanco to appointments outside the jail, he has refused treatment.