LAS VEGAS (AP) — Las Vegas triple murder suspect Ammar Harris has a smirk on his face in a 90-second YouTube video that shows him flashing a thick stack of $100 bills.
The video is just one of many online displays of bravado being examined by police in which Harris boasts of a high-rolling lifestyle of luxury cars, prostitutes and boat trips with scantily clad women. The 26-year-old is the subject of a multi-state manhunt after a Maserati driver was shot dead on the Las Vegas Strip last Thursday and a taxi driver and passenger died in the fiery chain reaction crash that followed.
Wearing a red baseball cap and crisp white shirt with flashy sunglasses tucked in the collar, Harris asks nonchalantly whether viewers will “help me count something,” and then fans out a stack of bills.
The video he took of himself in a bathroom cuts away to a pile of cash on the counter; Harris drops a bill and says “50.”
“I could keep going, I could keep going … but like, I don’t feel like countin’ anymore,” he says. “I got another bag. But I think I proved my (expletive) point.”
Las Vegas Police Officer Bill Cassell declined to comment on the video, saying it was open to the interpretation of individual viewers. But he said detectives are getting plenty of leads on Harris, whose face is splashed across billboards along Las Vegas freeways.
“I’m sure the widespread publicity, as well as the blatant, heinous nature of the crime, is motivating people to contact us,” Cassell said.
Authorities believe Harris shot from a Range Rover he was riding in along with Tineesha Lashun Howard, a 22-year-old from Miami who has been arrested multiple times on charges including prostitution, trespassing, possession of a stolen vehicle and grand larceny. Police have named Howard, who also goes by the name Yenesis “Yeni” Alfonzo, a person of interest in the case.
Harris was arrested last year in Las Vegas in a 2010 prostitution case using the name Ammar Asim Faruq Harris. He was charged with robbery, sexual assault, kidnapping and coercion with a weapon, and police sought charges of pandering by force and felon in possession of concealed weapon. Court records show that case was dismissed last June.
But while the courts haven’t convicted him of pimping, his bold social media persona suggests otherwise.
In Twitter postings attributed to Harris and reviewed by the Las Vegas Review-Journal before the feed was apparently disabled Tuesday, Harris brags that his house is full of women, and they’re all paying him. In one August post quoted by the newspaper, he writes, “there’s nothing wrong with paying for (sex)…as long as you paying one of my (women).”
Harris posts pictures of a Bentley and an Aston Martin, and mug shots from his own arrests. Harris was convicted in South Carolina in 2004 of felony possession with intent to sell a stolen pistol and convicted in Atlanta of a misdemeanor marijuana possession charge.
Harris also discusses plans for his own birthday party aboard a boat on the Atlantic Ocean, complete with a $1,000 bikini contest.
The fast life Harris boasts of is not unlike the online persona projected by 27-year-old shooting victim Kenneth Wayne Cherry Jr.
Cherry, who went by the stage name “Kenny Clutch,” is seen in a YouTube video driving his luxury car down the Strip and rapping about a “Maserati, paid 120 for it.”
Police say the two argued in the valet area of the Aria casino before dawn Thursday. The dispute took a deadly turn in the tourist corridor when shots were fired from a Range Rover and into Cherry’s Maserati, which sped forward through a red light and slammed into a taxi.
The taxi exploded, killing 62-year-old driver Michael Boldon and 48-year-old passenger Sandra Sutton-Wasmund, a businesswoman visiting from Maple Valley, Wash. Four other cars crashed, injuring several other people and closing the intersection in the heart of Las Vegas for an entire day.
Police found the Range Rover two days later parked at the gated Las Vegas apartment complex where Harris lived, but there was no sign of Harris.