HomeNewsCrime & CourtsFormer deputy sentenced to life plus five years in 2020 homicide

Former deputy sentenced to life plus five years in 2020 homicide



The former sheriff’s deputy accused of killing a Florida mother of three will spend at least 35 years in prison.

Richmond County Superior Court Jesse Stone sentenced Jason William “Moose” Cunningham to life in prison, with the possibility of parole after 30 years, plus five more years for possessing a gun during the commission of a felony.

Cunningham, 48, pleaded guilty to malice murder in the June 17, 2020, death of Nicole Diane Harrington, of Hallandale Beach, Fla.

Nicole Harrington, victim

Augusta District Attorney Jared Williams said Cunningham was married to another woman but having an affair with Harrington, who was unaware he was married.

The pair argued about her seeing another man, known as Maui, for over an hour before heading to dinner. On the way, Harrington commented that “at least Maui has a large penis,” and Cunningham shot her point-blank in the head, Williams said.

Her body would remain in the elevator overnight until it was found the next morning, Williams said.

Cunningham hinted to his law-enforcement friends about “doing something really bad” but did not surrender, Williams said. He went to Pointes West Army Resort had an armed standoff with police for nearly eight hours. He later confessed to killing Harrington, the DA said.

Harrington’s father, a retired sheriff’s deputy, agreed to the plea agreement. Cunningham “destroyed one life,” and was “rightfully without the rest of your life.”

Cunningham served as a Richmond County Sheriff’s deputy for 18 years before losing his job for failing drug tests. He was director of marketing for Forces United, the veteran organization, at the time of his arrest.

Cunningham, who has remained in jail without bond, appeared in court Monday with a shaved head and wearing a striped orange jumpsuit.

His defense attorney, Jennifer Cross, said Cunningham had been abused as a child and struggled to overcome his childhood trauma. She said Cunningham had co-founded a Pittsburg Steelers fan group that conducted fundraisers for area charities.

Cunningham said he apologized to Harrington’s family, friends and children and said they could visit him in prison. Crying, he said he was “not a monster.” He told his own family and friends not to attend the hearing, he said.

“This is a tragic event” with “an appropriate disposition,” Stone said.

Cunningham accepting responsibility perhaps led to his chance of parole in 35 years, during which he’ll have time to “fully reflect” on his actions, Stone said.

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