Edward Serrato

KINGMAN – A local judge hammered a Kingman Christmas day killer with a 135-year prison term Tuesday. Judge Billy Sipe sentenced Edward Serrato, 53, for convictions including the second-degree murder of Anna Hammonds, 80.

Deputy Mohave County attorney Jacob Cote told the trial jury in July that Serrato was living with a family member across the street from Hammonds when he killed her in her home at 4295 Irving Street on Christmas day in 2007. Cote said Serrato also killed Hammond’s dog before stealing her vehicle and setting it and her home on fire.

“It is obviously one of the most gruesome cases any of us have ever seen,” Cote told Judge Sipe. “The state would request the maximum sentence that the Court can give on all the counts and to run them consecutively.”

Defense attorney Randall Craig said Serrato suffered from a poor childhood, alcohol abuse and depression that combined to provide him a dark view of the world. Craig said Serrato maintains his innocence and insists he did not kill Hammonds.

Retired criminal investigator Steve Auld challenged that point, noting Serrato never claimed innocence during “hours and hours and hours” of jail telephone calls involving himself, his sister and others.

“Never once did he say `I didn’t kill Anna Hammonds’. Never once,” Auld said. “It’s been my experience that the very first thing out of somebody’s mouth if you accuse them of something that they’re innocent of is `I didn’t do it’. Never once did he do that.”

Judge Sipe noted that Serrato racked up four felony convictions in Maricopa County and an attempted murder in New Mexico, in addition to the Kingman convictions for murder, theft, burglary and two arson counts.

“This is just an unconscionable act. I just can’t even imagine the terror that was going through Anna Hammonds’ mind and her soul when on Christmas Day, at 80 years of age, after having a pleasant holiday Christmas with her family, she’s winding down with Gretchen her dog, probably watching some TV, getting ready for bed and it’s just unconscionable that her life ended the way it did in such a brutal, violent fashion.”

Judge Sipe stacked five consecutive sentences totaling 135 years in prison.

“Mr. Serrato, you more than deserve dying in prison. You really do. You’ve been committing felonies since you were 19. You’ve elevated your conduct now to the murder of a helpless, innocent 80-year-old lady and her dog,” Judge Sipe said. “Before that you committed attempted murder in New Mexico. And quite frankly Mr. Serrato, I’m glad that I have removed you from society for the rest of your life because you cannot hurt anybody else ever again.”