Arizona Husband Gets Life Sentence for Wife’s Horrific Murder, Buried Alive


An Arizona man was sentenced to prison for the murder of his wife, whom investigators say was buried alive in a “hand-dug grave” in 2017.

On May 9, a Yavapai County judge sentenced Prescott resident David Michael Pagniano, 62, to life in prison without the possibility of release, according to the Yavapai County Attorney’s Office. The investigation began in 2017, when his wife, Sandra Pagniano, went missing under questionable circumstances during their divorce, according to authorities.

Investigators said her body was discovered “bound and gagged” with packaging tape in a hand-dug grave north of Prescott. A medical examiner ruled that Sandra was buried alive.

According to prosecutors, detectives discovered via mobile phone data that Pagniano was in the vicinity of the gravesite in the days preceding her death and the night she went missing.

During the investigation, investigators looked into two notes allegedly written by Sandra, indicating she was leaving her husband the house, vehicles, and custody of their children. According to the attorney’s office, forensic scientists later determined that he had authored such notes.

Pagniano confessed to her murder the day before his trial. Yavapai County Attorney Dennis McGrane stated on Friday that his office is seeking the death sentence in the case due to the “horrific circumstances surrounding the abduction and murder of a young mother.”

“The evidence showed that she battled aggressively while in the grave and was likely conscious for up to five minutes after being buried. “I hope the life sentence provides some closure for the victim’s family,” Attorney McGrane stated in the release. “I want to be clear that my office will vigorously prosecute anyone who commits a violent crime in Yavapai County and we will continue to pursue the death penalty in appropriate cases.”

Pagniano was also sentenced to an additional 16.5 years in jail for kidnapping, forgery, and fraud schemes, according to prosecutors.


Cold Case Breakthrough! Suspect Charged in 2003 Murder of ‘Susan Kennedy Jackson’

Two Dead, Five Injured in Workplace Shooting at Delaware County Linen

Bodies of MISSING Kansas Women FOUND in Chest Freezer: Five Charged With Murder

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.