The Washoe County District Attorney’s Office has announced three men, Wallace Tarp, Michael Lee Mullins and Dutch Robert Cooper, have been sentenced for committing crimes against elderly victims. The sentences ranged from 19 years to 50 years in prison and ensure the defendants must serve up to 10 years before parole eligibility begins.

“With our elderly population growing,” said District Attorney Chris Hicks.”It is incumbent that a strong message of deterrence is sent to those criminals that target our senior citizens. These sentences demonstrate that when our prosecutors continue to seek swift and severe sentences the courts will be listening.”

Michael Lee Mullins, 49-year-old Reno man, was sentenced last Friday to 50 years in prison for one count of domestic battery causing substantial bodily harm and one count of domestic battery by strangulation. Both counts included a sentencing enhancement due to the victim being elderly. Mullins pled guilty in August of having beaten and strangled his 68-year-old female roommate. The victim was transported to the hospital for treatment. At sentencing Deputy District Attorney (DDA) Nickolas Graham argued that the lengthy prison sentence was warranted based on the severity of the beating, the age of the elderly victim and Mullins’ lengthy criminal history.

Dutch Robert Cooper, 33-year-old Reno man, was sentenced to a combined 29 years in prison for two different cases involving three counts of grand larceny, one count of attempted robbery and one count of burglary. Detectives with RPD had been investigating several purse snatchings involving elderly victims that had taken place between March, 2016 and January, 2017. A warrant was issued for Cooper’s arrest in connection with the snatchings, but police determined that Cooper had an accomplice, 53-year-old Wallace Tarp from Grass Valley, and issued a warrant for his arrest too.

Tarp was sentenced to 5 years in prison for his involvement in the snatchings.