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.”

Family remembers deceased mother
Family members of Adriann Gallegos remember her. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Camp Broadway teaches kids how to sing and dance
The Smith Center's seventh annual Camp Broadway musical theater program gives 150 kids ages 6-17 an opportunity to learn musical theater skills from industry professionals over a five-day period. Marcus Villagran/ Las Vegas Review-Journal @brokejournalist
Restoring classic Corvettes to perfection
Members of the National Corvette Restorers Society Convention talk about what it takes to earn the NCRS Top Flight Award for a restored Corvette at South Point in Las Vegas on Tuesday July 17, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Watch Ruthless! at Las Vegas Little Theatre
The musical Ruthless! will be playing at Las Vegas Little Theatre from July 13-29. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Cadaver art and sword swallowing at The Dark Arts Market
Curator Erin Emrie talks about her inspiration for The Dark Arts Market at Cornish Pasty Co. in Las Vegas Tuesday, July 10, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
'NO H8' Campaign comes to Las Vegas
Hundreds of locals participate in the NO H8 campaign founded by Adam Bouska and Jeff Parshley as a response to Proposition 8, a California ban on same-sex marriage. The campaign has since evolved to represent equal treatment for all. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
What to expect at Station Casinos' Fourth of July celebration
Station Casinos' is hosting its annual 4th of July celebration with Fireworks by Grucci. Fireworks scheduled to go off on Wednesday, July 4 around 9 p.m. at Green Valley Ranch Resort, Red Rock Resort, Fiesta Rancho and Texas Station. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Star Wars and Golden Knights mashup at downtown art shop
Star Wars and Vegas Golden Knights fans attend the Boba Fett Golden Knight Paint Class at The Bubblegum Gallery in Las Vegas, Friday, June 29, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Tourists and locals enjoy Independence Day fireworks at Caesars Palace
Hundreds of tourists and locals gaze at the Independence Day fireworks show at Caesars Palace on Saturday, June 30, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Clark County recount votes in commission’s District E primary
Clark County staff begin the recount requested by candidate Marco Hernandez in the democratic primary for the County Commission's District E seat on Tuesday, June 26, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Long-running local hip hop producer wants Vegas rappers to shine
Las Vegas Hip Hop producer and co-owner of Digital Insight Recording Studios Tiger Stylz reflects on 30 years of music production in the city. (Marcus Villagran/Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
"Pawn Stars" fans visit Richard Harrison's memorial at Gold & Silver Pawn
"Pawn Stars" fans from around the world visit the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop in Las Vegas following the passing of Richard "Old Man" Harrison on Monday, June 25, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Construction for new 51s ballpark underway
New home of the Las Vegas 51s is planned to be finished by March 2019 in Summerlin according to team president Don Logan. (Marcus Villagran/Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Underground home was built as Cold War-era hideaway
The underground house at 3970 Spencer Street is one of the valley’s most unusual homes built 26 feet underground in 1978 by Girard “Jerry” B. Henderson, who, planned to survive the end of the world there.
Lip Smacking Foodie Tours takes you where the locals go
Donald Contursi talks about Lip Smacking Foodie Tours, which offers walking tours of restaurants on and off Las Vegas Boulevard with food samples and tidbits of history about the places they visit.
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like