LAS VEGAS (AP) — A self-described pimp who once posted online images of himself with fists full of cash told a Las Vegas judge on Wednesday that he had no money to hire a lawyer to defend himself against charges that he killed three people in a shooting and fiery crash Feb. 21 on the Strip.
Ammar Harris, 27, stood in shackles and told Justice of the Peace Deborah Lippis that he understood he faces 11 felonies, including murder, attempted murder and seven discharging a weapon counts.
Harris wasn’t asked to enter a plea. The judge appointed two public lawyers to defend him, ordered him held without bail and set his next court appearance for April 29.
Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson said the case is a top priority and prosecutors will consider seeking the death penalty.
Harris is accused of firing fatal shots before dawn Feb. 21 from a black Range Rover into a Maserati sports car that then slammed into a taxi, killing the cab driver and a tourist from Washington state.
Defense lawyers David Schieck and Randall Pike said Harris plans to plead not guilty and fight the charges. They declined to speak about evidence in the case.
Tehran Boldon, younger brother of taxi driver Michael Boldon, who was killed, called it difficult to maintain composure in the courtroom, where Harris avoided eye contact.
“I don’t know what the district attorney is going to do, but there should be no mercy for this man,” Boldon said before breaking into sobs in the hallway. “I hope the court lets the world know that these kinds of actions won’t be tolerated.”
Boldon added that he expected Harris would seek a state-appointed lawyer, despite the 90-second YouTube video that was taken down after Harris was named as the prime suspect in the Strip carnage.
“He’ll let the taxpayers foot the bill,” Boldon said. “He’s a coward, it’s obvious.”
The video showed Harris wearing a red baseball cap and crisp white shirt with flashy sunglasses tucked in the collar, fanning a thick stack of $100 bills and boasting about luxury cars, prostitutes and living in a house full of women who are all paying him.