Flood Watch
from FRI 11:00 AM MST until SAT 11:00 PM MST, Yavapai County Mountains, Little Colorado River Valley in Coconino County, Little Colorado River Valley in Navajo County, Little Colorado River Valley in Apache County, Eastern Mogollon Rim, White Mountains, Northern Gila County, Yavapai County Valleys and Basins, Oak Creek and Sycamore Canyons, Western Pima County including Ajo/Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, Tohono O'odham Nation including Sells, Upper Santa Cruz River and Altar Valleys including Nogales, Tucson Metro Area including Tucson/Green Valley/Marana/Vail, South Central Pinal County including Eloy/Picacho Peak State Park, Southeast Pinal County including Kearny/Mammoth/Oracle, Upper San Pedro River Valley including Sierra Vista/Benson, Eastern Cochise County below 5000 ft including Douglas/Wilcox, Upper Gila River and Aravaipa Valleys including Clifton/Safford, White Mountains of Graham and Greenlee Counties including Hannagan Meadow, Galiuro and Pinaleno Mountains including Mount Graham, Chiricahua Mountains including Chiricahua National Monument, Dragoon/Mule/Huachuca and Santa Rita Mountains including Bisbee/Canelo Hills/Madera Canyon, Santa Catalina and Rincon Mountains including Mount Lemmon/Summerhaven, Baboquivari Mountains including Kitt Peak, Kofa, Central La Paz, Aguila Valley, Southeast Yuma County, Gila River Valley, Northwest Valley, Tonopah Desert, Gila Bend, Buckeye/Avondale, Cave Creek/New River, Deer Valley, Central Phoenix, North Phoenix/Glendale, New River Mesa, Scottsdale/Paradise Valley, Rio Verde/Salt River, East Valley, Fountain Hills/East Mesa, South Mountain/Ahwatukee, Southeast Valley/Queen Creek, Superior, Northwest Pinal County, West Pinal County, Apache Junction/Gold Canyon, Tonto Basin, Mazatzal Mountains, Pinal/Superstition Mountains, Sonoran Desert Natl Monument, San Carlos, Dripping Springs, Globe/Miami, Southeast Gila County

Arizona couple get prison terms in a 2019 Tucson murder case

An Arizona couple who prompted a nationwide manhunt in 2019 after escaping from custody have both been sentenced in a Tucson murder case.

Pima County prosecutors said Blane Barksdale, who turns 59 next month, received a 22-year prison term Friday while his wife got a five-year sentence. Both were credited with almost three years already served.

The couple was charged in the disappearance of 72-year-old Frank Bligh, whose Tucson home burned down in an April 2019 explosion and fire.

Blane Barksdale pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and as part of a plea agreement, prosecutors said he had to tell Tucson police where Bligh’s body was buried. It was found four months ago in a wilderness area.

Susan Barksdale, who is in her early 60s, pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the case.

Prosecutors said the couple befriended Bligh and then pawned some of his gun collection after he was killed.

U.S. Marshals found and arrested the Barksdales in upstate New York in May 2019, but they escaped three months later in Utah from a prisoner transport van that was bringing them back to Tucson to face charges.

Federal authorities located the couple 16 days later some 90 miles (144 kilometers) northeast of Phoenix and re-arrested them.

Continued Coverage

Blane (left) and Susan (right) Barksdale. (Photo Courtesy: Navajo County Sheriff's Office)