CHARLOTTE, N.C. – U.S. District Judge Frank D. Whitney handed down a 68-month sentence Monday afternoon to Delmond Dmonta Cunningham for a firearms offense, announced Andrew Murray, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. In addition to the prison term imposed, Cunningham, 26, of Charlotte, was also ordered to serve three years under court supervision.
U.S. Attorney Murray is joined in making today’s announcement by Vincent C. Pallozzi, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Charlotte Field Division, and Chief Johnny Jennings of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD).
According to court documents and yesterday’s sentencing hearing, on August 30, 2018, at about 7:30 a.m., CMPD offices responded to a call regarding shots being fired near Villa Heights Elementary School in Charlotte. Court records show that a male, later identified as Cunningham, fired two shots at his ex-girlfriend and a relative, while they were in their vehicle dropping off the victim’s daughter at school. According to court documents, Cunningham followed the victim throughout the school parking lot, and once the victim left the parking lot Cunningham pointed a firearm out of his car window and fired two shots at the victim’s car. After the shots were fired, Cunningham fled the scene. Court records show that Cunningham has a history of domestic violence, and that, at the time of the incident, the victim had obtained a restraining order against him.
Over the course of the investigation, law enforcement determined that two .45 caliber shell casings were found in the school parking lot, which were later matched up with a stolen .45 caliber pistol found in Cunningham’s possession at the time of his arrest. One of the rounds fired penetrated a bedroom of a nearby house. Cunningham has a prior felony conviction and is prohibited from possessing a firearm or ammunition. On April 23, 2019, Cunningham pleaded guilty to possession of ammunition by a convicted felon. At yesterday’s sentencing hearing, Judge Whitney varied upward and imposed on Cunningham a sentence above the statutory guidelines.
At the sentencing hearing, in discussing the nature and circumstances of the offense, Judge Whitney described the defendant’s actions as “extraordinarily reckless” and noted that, luckily, “the round that went into another house did not hurt anyone.” Cunningham is currently in custody and will be transferred to the custody of the Federal Bureau of Prisons upon the designation of a federal facility.
The investigation was handled by the ATF and CMPD. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Robert Gleason of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte.