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Prescott Man Sentenced To Life In Prison For Kidnapping And Burying His Wife Alive

A Prescott man will spend the rest of his life in prison after he was sentenced in connection of the kidnapping and burying his wife alive. Back in May of 2017, 62-year-old David Pagniano’s wife, then 39-year-old Sandra Pagniano, went missing. Yavapai County Attorney Dennis McGrane says “Sandra was kidnapped from her home while her children slept nearby, bound in packing tape, driven to a remote location and buried alive. The evidence revealed she vigorously struggled while she was in the grave, and was likely conscious for up to five minutes after being buried.” During the investigation, detectives found two notes that were filed in a divorce proceeding after Sandra’s disappearance, purportedly written by Sandra, that said she was leaving and giving David her vehicles, house and custody of the kids. After further investigation, it was revealed that David wrote the notes. The county attorney’s office pushed for the death penalty in the case. On the eve of the trial, Pagniano decided to plead guilty and let the judge decide his fate, without a plea agreement. Judge David Mackey decided back on May 9th, Pagniano would serve life in prison, plus 16-and-a-half years in prison for kidnapping, forgery and fraud.