Lawyers ask leniency for elderly, homeless Reno bank robber

RENO, Nev. — Public defenders are pleading for leniency for a 78-year-old, lifelong criminal who admitted robbing a Reno bank with a steak knife so he could return to prison instead of spending his last years homeless, cold and sick.

Tommy Ray McAdoo faces 25 years in prison or more when he’s scheduled to be sentenced in federal court in Reno on Tuesday. Court-appointed lawyers for the former Seattle man are asking for a sentence of less than five years.

“Mr. McAdoo’s crime was committed by a gravely ill, homeless man who after staying out of the system for eight years impulsively decided he needed to do something to go back to prison,” federal public defenders Rene Valladares and Lauren Gorman wrote in court papers filed July 25.

“His health is declining rapidly and with it any risk to the public he could present,” they said, adding that McAdoo “understands that almost any sentence in this case is a death sentence.”

“A sentence of 51 months gives Mr. McAdoo nothing more than a sliver of hope he will die outside of prison gates. Such a sentence is just and appropriate in the unique circumstances of this case,” they said.

FBI agents investigating the Nov. 9, 2016, robbery at a downtown bank found McAdoo hours later eating lunch at a nearby casino and asked him what he did for a living.

“I used to rob banks,” he answered, according to the federal criminal complaint.

When a judge asked McAdoo for his plea at his Nov. 17 arraignment, McAdoo turned to his lawyer and said, “Guilty or not guilty? It’s up to you.”

His public defender entered a not guilty plea on his behalf that day, but he ended up pleading guilty in April to bank robbery with the use of a dangerous weapon.

Prosecutors say McAdoo demanded money on a note he scribbled on the back of a casino sports betting sheet before making off with $2,731 in a paper grocery sack from the bank across the street from the federal courthouse where he’s scheduled to be sentenced on Tuesday.

McAdoo has been convicted of at least five different bank robbery charges in a criminal history dating to 1964. Most recently, he pleaded guilty to a Seattle holdup in 1990.

Upon his most recent release from prison in 2008, McAdoo lived in poverty in Seattle with only his $880 monthly social security check. In 2012, he moved to Reno and tried to supplement his income through gambling, “but generally lost’” and ended up living on the streets and in homeless shelters, his lawyers said.

He was hospitalized with intense chest pains in 2014, was diagnosed with coronary artery disease and urged to undergo heart bypass surgery but refused. His doctor advised in the discharge report in October 2014:

“I have told him openly that this means that he will probably die within the near future and he tells me that he is prepared to die.”

For the next two years, he stayed out of trouble, but his health continued to deteriorate, his lawyers said. “In large part, Mr. McAdoo simply wanted to get out of the cold and return to prison.”

ad-high_impact_4
Local
Downtown Summerlin hosts its annual Festival of Arts
People crowd to Downtown Summerlin for the 23rd annual Summerlin Festival of Arts in Las Vegas, Sunday, Oct. 14, 2018. (Caroline Brehman/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Clark County educators debate alternative grading systems
Spring Valley High School principal Tam Larnerd, Spring Valley High School IB coordinator Tony Gebbia and retired high school teacher Joyce O'Day discuss alternative grading systems. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Grandparents on the fire that killed three family members
Charles and Doris Smith talk about the night an apartment fire took the lives of three of their family members. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
New York artist Bobby Jacobs donated a sculpture to the Las Vegas Healing Garden
Bobby Jacobs, an artist from upstate New York, has spent much of the past year creating a sculpture of two separate angel wings. He donated the sculpture to the Las Vegas Healing Garden. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Weather will cool slightly through the end of the week
The weather will cool slightly through the end of the week., but highs are still expected to be slightly above normal for this year. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Mayor announces new public-private partnership
Mayor Carolyn Goodman announced the creation of the Mayor’s Fund for Las Vegas LIFE, a public-private partnership that will allocate money to the city’s neediest.
Fremont9 opens downtown
Fremont9 apartment complex has opened in downtown Las Vegas. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Fall fairytale gets cozy at Bellagio Conservatory
Bellagio Conservatory introduces its fall-themed garden titled "Falling Asleep." (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
What the house that Ted Binion died in looks like today
Casino heir Ted Binion died in this Las Vegas home in 1998. Current home owner Jane Popple spent over $600,000 to restore and modernize the home. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Rescue Mission employees terminated
Don James, a former employee for the Las Vegas Rescue Mission, talks about the day his team was terminated. (Erik Verduzco/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Raiders Cupcakes at Freed's Bakery
Freed's Bakery will have Raiders-themed cupcakes available in store and for order during football season. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
51s fans say goodbye to Cashman Field
Las Vegas 51s fans said goodbye to Cashman Field in Las Vegas, Monday September, 3, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
51s owner Don Logan's last weekend at Cashman Field
Don Logan, owner of the Las Vegas 51s, gives a tour of Cashman Field before the team's final weekend using the field. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Metro Asst. Sheriff Brett Zimmerman on Aug. 8 officer-involved shooting
Metropolitan Police Department Assistant Sheriff Brett Zimmerman met with media Monday to discuss the details of the 14th officer-involved shooting of the year. (Madelyn Reese/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Matt Kelly Elementary School hosted its third annual Back-to-School Red Carpet Program
Matt Kelly Elementary School hosted its third annual Back-to-School Red Carpet Program where community and business leaders joined to welcome students back with an inspirational welcome. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Star Trek fans on show’s enduring popularity
Star Trek fans at the Star Trek Convention 2018 talk about why they think the show has stayed popular across the years Thursday, August 2, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Nonprofit provides clothing for homeless
Sydney Grover of Can You Spare A Story?, talks about how she founded the non-profit organization. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like