If convicted, self-proclaimed pimp Ammar Harris could be put to death for a February shooting on the Strip that left three people dead.
Clark County prosecutors on Wednesday announced their intention to seek capital punishment for Harris, 27, who was indicted last month on nearly a dozen charges in the case.
Prosecutors say Harris shot and killed reputed pimp Kenneth “Kenny Clutch” Cherry Jr. as the two were driving separate vehicles on the Strip early on the morning of Feb. 21.
The shooting caused Cherry to crash his car into a taxicab, which burst into flames, killing the driver, Michael Boldon, and his passenger, Sandra Sutton-Wasmund of Maple Valley, Wash.
Family members of the victims have said they hoped prosecutors would seek the death penalty for Harris.
The decision to seek capital punishment is made by the district attorney’s death penalty committee.
The committee, whose meetings are not open to the public, looks at three factors when considering capital punishment: whether there are aggravating factors in the case, whether a jury would impose the death penalty as punishment, and whether a conviction would stand up under appeal.
Harris faces three counts of first-degree murder, two counts of discharging a firearm into a vehicle, five counts of discharging a firearm out of a vehicle and attempted murder.
He is being represented by the special public defender’s office, which specializes in death penalty defense cases.
An arraignment hearing in the case is set for next week before Judge Kathleen Delaney. Harris is being held without bail at the Clark County Detention Center.
According to police reports and sources, Harris was driving a Range Rover on Las Vegas Boulevard when he stopped at a red light next to a Maserati driven by Cherry.
The two exchanged words.
Harris became angry with Cherry, 27, and fired at least five rounds from the driver’s seat of his Range Rover at Cherry’s Maserati on Las Vegas Boulevard near Flamingo Road.
Cherry was struck once and died. Freddy Walters, 26, the passenger in Cherry’s Maserati, was grazed by a bullet.
The Maserati crashed into the taxicab, which exploded in flames, killing Boldon and Sutton-Wasmund.
Court documents show that Walters was not called to testify before the grand jury. Two women, believed to be passengers in Harris’ vehicle, did testify, the indictment shows.
After the shooting, Harris fled Las Vegas, sparking a multistate manhunt. He was arrested by a team of FBI agents and police at an apartment in Studio City in Los Angeles on Feb. 28.
Harris fought extradition to Las Vegas for nearly six weeks. During his extradition, he unsuccessfully attempted to escape from custody, prosecutors said.
The grand jury also indicted Harris in a separate rape case. He faces three counts of sexual assault and one count of robbery in that case.
The sexual assault case dates to 2010, when Harris was arrested on charges of raping an 18-year-old woman.
The victim, a stripper at Little Darlings, told police she was staying at Harris’ home at The Meridian on June 3, 2010, when he forced her into the shower and raped her.
About two weeks later, she accused Harris of choking her, stealing $600 from her wallet and again sexually assaulting her in the shower.
The case languished in the courts until it was dropped because authorities could no longer find the victim.
After the Strip shooting, the victim was found and testified to the grand jury, prosecutors said.
Contact reporter Francis McCabe at
email@example.com or 702-380-1039.