Judge orders sentence of 50 years in prison
Defendant sentenced for 2014 robbery spree.

Media Release
For Immediate Release

Contact: District Attorney Chris Hicks

Reno, Nevada. March 3, 2015. On Feb. 25, 2015, 25-year-old Tony L. Cunningham, DOB 6/19/89, was sentenced to 50 years in prison by the Honorable Patrick Flanagan on four counts of robbery, two of which were done with a deadly weapon and one was committed against an elderly person. He will be eligible for parole in approximately 16.3 years

On Jan. 22, 2014, Cunningham, along with one other accomplice, entered the Sinclair Gas Station in Stead. The accomplice grabbed a case of beer and a pack of cigarettes and proceeded to leave the store without paying. When the clerk attempted to give chase, Cunningham lifted his coat displaying the butt of a gun, while sternly exclaiming to the clerk “I wouldn’t!” The two robbers fled. 

The very next night, Cunningham returned to the same Sinclair Gas Station, this time with two accomplices. One was armed with a rifle and the other with a bowie knife. The men went behind the counter and while pointing the gun and the knife in his direction, demanded that the clerk open the safe. Cunningham and his two accomplices made out with cash, beer, and cigarettes. The clerk was the very same clerk that Cunningham had robbed the previous night. Both instances were caught on surveillance footage.

On March 9, 2014, Cunningham entered the Safe Mini Mart in Sparks, drew and pointed a gun at the clerk and demanded all the money in the register. Fearing for his life, the clerk obliged Cunningham’s request for money.  Cunningham took approximately $375 from the Mini Mart.

Less than a week later, in the early morning hours of March 15, 2014, Cunningham entered a 7-11 located in Sparks. The 66-year-old female owner of the store heard the bell ring, informing her that someone had entered the store, so she came to the counter to assist who she thought was a customer. When she got to the counter, Cunningham produced a black pistol from his red Budweiser sweat pants, demanded all of her $100’s, $50’s and $20’s and yelled “everything I want.” The clerk, stricken with fear, gave Cunningham all the money that was in her drawer and Cunningham made off with the approximate $90 in cash. This robbery was caught on surveillance footage, as well.

When Cunningham was ultimately apprehended by the police based on an anonymous tip, he admitted to his involvement in the robberies.  A search a Cunningham’s personal property revealed the clothes that were worn during two of the robberies, including the distinct red Budweiser sweat pants. 

At sentencing, Cunningham blamed the crime spree on his addiction to drugs and alcohol. The State countered that those excuses offered no justification whatsoever for such a violent and egregious acts and that Cunningham is an extreme danger to this community.        

The Honorable Patrick Flanagan stated that Cunningham had moved beyond rehabilitation and that the sentence conveyed would be to deter him from acting in this violent manner in the future, as well as to deter others in the community from committing similar crimes.  Judge Flanagan ran all the sentences consecutively.   

Any questions should be addressed to Deputy District Attorney, Nate MacLellan at the District Attorney’s Office at 328-3205.


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