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Blanco murder trial set to begin Sept. 25

Alfredo Blanco, charged with first-degree murder of real estate agent Sidney Cranston Jr., is wheeled into court at a previous hearing. His trial is scheduled for Sept. 25.

Daily Miner file photo

Alfredo Blanco, charged with first-degree murder of real estate agent Sidney Cranston Jr., is wheeled into court at a previous hearing. His trial is scheduled for Sept. 25.

KINGMAN – Alfredo Gerardo Blanco, whose jury trial for the alleged first-degree murder of Sidney Cranston Jr. is set to begin Sept. 25, had a final management conference before Mohave County Superior Court Judge Rick Lambert Monday.

Blanco is charged with killing Cranston, a real estate agent, in June 2015 and burying his body on a ranch about 20 miles east of Kingman. Cranston’s body was discovered in January 2017. Blanco was arrested a few days later at a rehabilitation home in the Phoenix area. He has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder, concealment of a dead body and tampering with evidence.

However, Bill Sanders, an acquaintance of Blanco who led law enforcement to Cranston’s body, pleaded guilty to concealment of a dead body in February.

Prosecuting attorney Bob Moon told the judge he estimates the trial could take as long as two weeks. While prosecution has a number of witnesses it could call, more than 20, defense attorney Robin Puchek said his only potential witness is the defendant.

Should Blanco be convicted of a charge lesser than first-degree murder, such as negligent homicide, Moon filed paperwork with the court asking for a dangerousness finding from the jury because the indictment charges the use of a dangerous weapon.

Puchek asked that Lambert prohibit photography and recordings during the trial, a request granted by the judge. However, Lambert said he wouldn’t take a position on photographs outside the courtroom.

Blanco’s jury trial is set to begin at 9:30 a.m. Sept. 25.