Serial criminal returns to Nacogdoches to plead to crimes - | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Serial criminal returns to Nacogdoches to plead to crimes


Allen Cunningham was very much in the news three years ago when arrested for running a gambling shack in Nacogdoches County.

All this time he's been serving time in state prison for forgery and theft charges in other counties.

We'll take the charges of Cunningham in order. An eight-liner gambling operation was busted in 2010. Seventy eight-liners were confiscated. Cunningham and his wife, Gayla, were charged with organized criminal activity. Gayla entered a plea years ago, but Cunningham held out until Thursday. The charges of running a gambling facility are dropped. He pleaded guilty to only possessing the machines.

"It was a misdemeanor," said Webb Russell, defense attorney. "It was a month reduced to a misdemeanor charge. Eight-liners in Nacogdoches County is not a high felony."

Cunningham still has his troubles. He pleaded guilty to debit card abuse and three counts of theft. For that, two years state jail time and restitution payments totaling over $17,000.

"We can kinda work with the number of cases we have and the types of cases we have to make sure that we get the end result that we're comfortable with," said prosecuting attorney Debra Gaston.

He also admitted guilt to connections with methamphetimine, a bust that went down two years ago. That's a felony which comes with a five-year prison sentence.

Cunningham's sister and wife were at Thursday's proceedings. Smiles and thumbs up indicated their pleasure in the agreement.

"Everybody knows his name and I think everybody is glad it got resolved the way it did," Webb said.

Nevertheless, Cunningham returns to prison to carry out a variety of sentences where he will hope that someday parole will be granted.

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