FLORENCE — The jury in an Apache Junction double murder trial was unable to come to a verdict on two counts of first-degree murder and one count of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder.

The jury did find Demian Blu, 44, of Apache Junction guilty of two counts of hindering prosecution, one count of assisting a street gang by abandoning or concealing a body and two counts of abandoning or concealing a body.

The jury took nearly four days to come to a decision in the case after more than a month’s worth of testimony from witnesses. The jury was to decide on possible aggravating factors for sentencing purposes Friday.

The charges stem from the 2016 deaths of Keith Long and Ranae Gardner, who were shot while sleeping in their home in an Apache Junction mobile home park. Long’s body was found in a canal near San Tan Valley. Gardner’s body was found along the Beeline Highway/State Route 87 between Phoenix and Payson.

Blu is one of three men who were charged with Long and Gardner’s deaths. Clint Wendelschafer, 34, of Tempe and Nicholas Douglas, 45, of San Tan Valley were also charged. Wendelschafer accepted a plea agreement in December 2019 in exchange for testifying against Blu and Douglas. Douglas’ trial is set for later this year.


Suzanne Adams-Ockrassa is a reporter covering the city of Casa Grande and the surrounding area, as well as Central Arizona College. She can be reached at sadams@pinalcentral.com.

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