Trial date moved in Sid Cranston murder case

Sid Cranston Jr. on one of his many travels.

Photo courtesy of Cranston Family

Sid Cranston Jr. on one of his many travels.

KINGMAN – The trial date for Alfredo Blanco, who is accused of first-degree murder, was moved back one week to May 15 and could be delayed until July depending on progress at the next evidentiary hearing.

Blanco is charged with the murder of real estate agent and property manager Sidney Cranston Jr., whose body was discovered in January 2017 buried on a ranch 40 miles east of Kingman. He had been missing since June 16, 2015.

Superior Court Judge Rick Lambert set a March 23 evidentiary hearing on a motion to suppress comments made by the defendant when he was arrested Jan. 11, 2017, at a rehabilitation facility in the Phoenix area.

Defense attorney Robin Puchek said Blanco made comments of purported admission to Kingman Police Department detectives and FBI agents when he was at the rehab center recovering from several strokes.

“It’s starting to become apparent to me that’s not going to be realistic,” Puchek said about the May trial. “I’m thinking June, maybe July.”

Lambert said his calendar was busy for May and June.

Prosecuting attorney Bob Moon told the judge he expected to file a response to the motion to suppress comments by the middle of the week, and asked the judge not to vacate the May 8 trial date.

“I would like to leave the trial date intact for now,” he said.

As for the evidentiary hearing, Moon said it shouldn’t take more than two to three hours. One of the complications could be getting federal agents at the hearing, which has to go through the U.S. Department of Justice, he noted.

Blanco pleaded not guilty to the crime and is being held without bond.

William Sanders, an acquaintance of Blanco who led police to Cranston’s body, will be one of the key witnesses. He’s charged with concealment of a dead body and tampering with physical evidence.