Adams Morgan mugger reads Examiner story, turns self in

Crime,Scott McCabe

An Adams Morgan mugger turned himself just hours after seeing his mugshot in the Most Wanted feature in The Examiner.

Twenty-two-year-old Eric Michael Cunningham had been on the run for more than five months for violating his probation for his role in the 2006 assault and robbery of a jogger on the 2400 block of Champlain Street in Northwest Washington.

Cunningham's wife, Toree Cunningham, said her husband has turned his life around since then and is not a bad man.

"When I read the article that you wrote I could not believe my eyes," Toree Cunningham said in an e-mail. "Although what Eric did was wrong, believe me this happened when he was young and he is now a changed man."

She said she tried to make Cunningham turn himself in earlier, but they were expecting a baby and Cunningham wanted to be there when he was born.

The baby, a boy named Phillip, was born Dec. 13 but died of complications from the birth, Toree Cunningham said. Phillip's funeral was scheduled for Monday.

"[Eric] said he just wanted it to be over and not get any worse, so he went to the marshals office," Toree Cunningham said. "He was looking forward to becoming a dad. Now he won't be able to see his son laid to rest."

U.S. marshals deputies said Cunningham made the right decision this time. Three years ago, he and another man punched a jogger around the head, snatched his iPod and sold it two hours later at an Adams Morgan CD store on 18th Street Northwest.

"Thanks to The Examiner and their readers, the members of this community gain a renewed sense of security," said Eric Mellette, of the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force.

Cunningham was the second fugitive this month to be put behind bars after being featured as a "Most Wanted," and at least the 10th this year.

The Capital Area Regional Fugitive Task Force, run by the U.S. Marshals Service, is composed of 30 federal, state and local agencies from Baltimore to Norfolk.

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