Anthony Pisano sentenced to 300 years in Spenard triple homicide

a man in a suit with black glasses on at his trial in court.
Anthony Pisano, now convicted of killing three men in 2017, sits at his second trial at Nesbett Courthouse in Anchorage on Thursday, Nov. 2, 2023. (Matt Faubion/Alaska public Media)

The man convicted of shooting three men to death at a Spenard gold store in 2017 was sentenced Thursday to 300 years in prison, as allegations emerged that he had later sought to kill the prosecution’s star witness against him.

An Alaska Department of Law statement said Anthony Pisano, 50, was sentenced by Superior Court Judge Jack McKenna to the maximum 99 years for each victim in the Sept. 12, 2017 shooting: Bullion Brothers store owner Steven Cook, as well as nearby apartment residents Daniel McCreadie and Kenneth Hartman. Pisano was also sentenced to five years for assaulting Michael DuPree, the deadly day’s only other survivor, with two years to be served concurrently.

Pisano was found guilty of first-degree murder charges in November, after a second jury took a weekend to deliberate his fate. His initial trial ended in a 2020 mistrial, with the COVID pandemic delaying his return to court.

At his second trial Pisano’s attorney, Kevin Fitzgerald, claimed that Cook was shot and killed by his business partner, DuPree. That, he said, led to a shootout during which Pisano shot and killed McCreadie and Hartman in self-defense as they rushed to help.

Jurors ultimately accepted Anchorage District Attorney Brittany Dunlop’s account of the crime, which she characterized as a botched robbery of the store by Pisano. Prosecutors cited both Pisano’s Army experience and his over $90,000 in credit-card debt. But their key witness was DuPree, who told jurors he fought with Pisano, then ran from the scene and called 911.

Dunlop said by phone Friday that Thursday’s sentencing opened with a presentation of evidence by Anchorage police that Pisano had allegedly asked a fellow Anchorage Correctional Complex inmate, Dave Herman, to kill DuPree in 2020 between the two trials.

“We got word that (Herman) had reached out to his spouse about Anthony Pisano contacting him while he was in custody, and wanting essentially to take a hit out on Michael DuPree,” Dunlop said. “The detective got enough information to treat that threat as credible.”

The investigation was hampered by the pandemic’s spread through the jail, Dunlop said, as well as Herman’s death after his release. Although Herman shared letters written in code he had allegedly exchanged with Pisano, Dunlop said prosecutors filed the documents under seal during the second trial to prevent them – or media coverage based on them – from influencing the jury.

Dunlop said that after Herman’s death, his allegations weren’t strong enough to charge Pisano with solicitation to commit murder. But Judge McKenna made a finding of fact Thursday allowing them to be considered in Pisano’s sentencing.

“The rules of evidence, or at least the rules of hearsay, do not apply at a sentencing hearing in total, so we were able to introduce that information at sentencing, even though it couldn’t necessarily come out at trial,” she said.

Dunlop said the victims’ families had spent a combined six months watching Pisano’s two trials until jurors finally arrived at November’s verdict.

“I know that that was heartbreaking for them,” she said. “And it was just really, really nice to have had this chapter finally closed for them.”

Fitzgerald, Pisano’s attorney, wasn’t immediately available for comment Friday.

Prosecutors said in their statement that McKenna found Pisano to be a “worst offender” in the murders of Cook, Hartman and McCreadie, saying that Pisano would have killed anyone in his way as he left the crime scene. McKenna also cited community condemnation and isolation as factors in handing down the maximum sentence against Pisano.

Chris Klint is a web producer and breaking news reporter at Alaska Public Media. Reach him at Read more about Chris here.

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