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Blane Barksdale pleads guilty to second-degree murder in killing of Tucson man

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Posted at 5:04 PM, Dec 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-14 19:37:34-05

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — A murder suspect has pleaded guilty in the death of a Tucson man.

Tuesday, Blane Barksdale pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the death of Frank Bligh.

In November, Susan Barksdale pleaded guilty to manslaughter in connection with the disappearance of Bligh.

In 2019, a third suspect Brent Mallard pleaded guilty to arson charges in the burning of Bligh’s house.

Bligh disappeared after a fire at his house in 2019, although his body was never found, Tucson Police did find his car. They determined his death as a homicide.

Blane and Susan pawned guns belonging to Bligh.

Tucson Police were prepared to arrest the couple, but they went on the run and later arrested in upstate New York; however, the couple escaped the prisoner transport van that was bringing them back to Tucson to face charges.

It took nearly two weeks for authorities to find and re-arrest them in Northern Arizona.

Blane Barksdale will return for a status conference re-sentencing on January 10.

He is to serve between 19 and 22 years in prison.