For Immediate Release
Contact: Michelle Bays
775.321.4307 (o); 775.771.6049 (c)
The Washoe County District Attorney’s Office has released information on two separate robbery case sentencings, one involving the use of a firearm during a spree of nighttime convenience store robberies and the other a violent attack on a victim who was robbed of a significant amount of cash. Both cases resulted in lengthy prison sentences for the two defendants, who faced multiple charges of robbery and burglary.
Lathaniel Lee Hutcherson, 23, from Richmond California, was sentenced last week on two separate robbery cases to up to 10 years in prison per count, set by the court to run consecutively for a combined maximum term of up to 20 years in prison. Hutcherson pled guilty in March to one count of Robbery on each of the two cases and must serve 6 years in prison before parole eligibility begins. Hutcherson was identified by the Sparks Police Department (SPD) as the suspect in a robbery at Rail City Casino that took place in January, 2017. In that case, Hutcherson jumped the cashier’s cage counter, knocked an employee down and took cash from a cash drawer before fleeing the casino. SPD detectives were able to identify Hutcherson and he was ultimately arrested in Auburn, California in October, 2017. While on the run, the Reno Police Department linked Hutcherson to a robbery that had occurred in December, 2016 at the Grand Sierra Resort (GSR). In that case, Hutcherson violently robbed a GSR patron of a large amount of cash by tackling him from behind and knocking him to the ground. The victim suffered laceration and fractures to his face and nose in the attack. Hutcherson was extradited back to Washoe County and this office filed formal criminal charges against him for both robbery cases.
At Hutcherson’s sentencing, Deputy District Attorney Tyler Altom requested that the prison terms on each Robbery case run consecutively to each other due to his recent history of violent crimes and the seriousness of the incident at the GSR.
Harry Paupuaga, 22, from Reno, was also sentenced last week on four counts of Robbery with a Deadly Weapon and one count of Burglary with a Deadly Weapon to 48 years in prison for an October 22, 2017 spree of convenience store robberies. On that date, RPD patrol officers responded to a report of a burglary at a Reno residence, in which the victim reported the loss of a handgun. Following the burglary, RPD responded to two convenience store robberies involving the use of a firearm. On October 25, 2017, SPD patrol officers responded to a similar convenience store armed robbery and RPD also responded to two additional armed robberies in their jurisdiction. SPD and RPD detective were able to quickly identify Paupuaga through video surveillance. Additional follow-up investigation located a last known residence and Paupuaga was arrested. Deputy District Attorney Carrie Morton filed formal criminal charges against Paupuaga and he ultimately pled guilty in April, 2018. Based on the sentence, Paupuaga must serve 11 years in prison before parole eligibility begins.