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2:24 PM Mon, Oct. 22nd

Judge to rule on Blanco motions after trial’s opening statements

Alfredo Gerardo Blanco, accused of first-degree murder of Sidney Cranston, is helped into a van following a previous court hearing. His trial starts Tuesday. (Daily Miner file photo)

Alfredo Gerardo Blanco, accused of first-degree murder of Sidney Cranston, is helped into a van following a previous court hearing. His trial starts Tuesday. (Daily Miner file photo)

KINGMAN – The jury is expected to be selected Tuesday morning for the first-degree murder trial of Alfredo Gerardo Blanco, accused of killing real estate agent and rental property owner Sidney Cranston in 2015, with opening statements to come sometime in the afternoon.

In a final hearing Monday afternoon, Mohave County Superior Court Judge Rick Lambert said he would take up motions in limine at the end of the day.

A motion in limine is a motion filed by a party to a lawsuit that asks the court for an order or ruling to prevent certain evidence from being presented by one side or the other at trial.

Lambert will rule on five separate motions, including one to preclude testimony from private investigator Lyle Sharman of Bullhead City and another to preclude testimony from a jailhouse informant.

Prosecuting attorney Bob Moon said he didn’t think anyone’s opening statements would depend on the motions in limine, and proposed that Lambert rule on them after jury selection, which is expected to take up most of the morning. Defense attorney Robin Puchek did not object.

The trial is expected to take up to two weeks. Blanco was a handyman and property manager for Cranston, who owned about 43 rental properties in the area and went missing on June 16, 2015. His body was discovered 19 months later buried on a ranch east of Kingman.

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