For Immediate Release
Contact: Michelle Bays
775.321.4307 (o); 775.771.6049 (c)
The Washoe County District Attorney’s Office (WCDA) has released the results in a pair of robbery trials that concluded last week. The cases were unrelated, but involved the armed robbery of clerks working in local convenience stores. In both cases, the defendants entered the businesses, held the store clerks at gunpoint and demanded money from the register. Surveillance footage assisted in identifying the suspects, who were quickly apprehended by officers with the Reno and Sparks Police Departments.
Christopher Steven Sakadales, 32, was found guilty on one count of Robbery with the Use of a Deadly Weapon, one count of Carrying a Concealed Weapon, one count of Possession of a Controlled Substance and one count of Possession of a Firearm by a Prohibited Person (Felon). Sakadales was arrested on January 12, 2018 by the Sparks Police Department (SPD) after patrol officers responded to a report of an armed robbery at the Citi Mart convenience store on Prater Way in Sparks. SPD Officers were able to gather descriptive information of the suspect from the store clerk who was robbed and from store surveillance footage. Based on this, Sakadales was quickly apprehended. When contacted, Sakadales, who had a prior felony conviction for robbery, had the firearm he used in the recent robbery tucked in the front waistband of his pants and was also in possession of methamphetamine and approximately $200.00 in cash from the store register. Sakadales was arrested and this office filed formal criminal charges against him. Deputy District Attorney Aziz Merchant prosecuted the case and sentencing is set for October 16, 2018 in District Court. Seakales faces up to 30 years in prison and up to an additional 15 year sentence for the deadly weapon enhancement.
Damien Jamal Walker,24, was found guilty on one count of Robbery with the Use of a Deadly Weapon and one count of Possession of a Firearm by a Prohibited Person (Felon). Walker was arrested on November 23, 2017 after the Reno Police Department (RPD) was dispatched to an armed robbery of the Valero Gas Station on West Second Street in Reno. When RPD officers arrived, the store clerk was able to provide a description of the suspect who had pointed a gun at him and robbed the store of less than $100.00 in cash. Surveillance footage was also collected and RPD Regional Gang Unit detectives assisted in identifying Walker and arresting him a short time later. When interviewed Walker admitted to the robbery and claimed to have thrown the gun into the Truckee River. He was arrested and this office filed formal criminal charges against him.
During the trial, Deputy District Attorney Zelalem Bogale argued that the evidence showed the defendant discarded the firearm used during the robbery, and the police never recovered it. In response to the defense’s closing argument that, because it was never recovered, the State did not prove the defendant used a firearm, DDA Bogale argued that the defendant should not receive a benefit from discarding evidence because that would encourage would-be criminals to ditch deadly weapons.
Walker is set for sentencing on October 3, 2018 and faces up to 21 years in prison and up to an additional 15 year sentence for the deadly weapon enhancement.