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.
Records show Harris was never convicted of pimping. But he was arrested last year in Las Vegas in a 2010 prostitution case using the name Ammar Asim Faruq Harris. Police sought charges of pandering by force and felon in possession of concealed weapon, but he was charged with robbery, sexual assault, kidnapping and coercion with a weapon. The case was dismissed last June.
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.
He was arrested Feb. 28 at an apartment in Studio City in Los Angeles and returned to Las Vegas early Tuesday. He fought extradition until the governors of California and Nevada signed orders for his transfer.
Police allege that Harris and aspiring rapper Kenneth Wayne Cherry Jr. exchanged angry words in a hotel valet area before Harris fired shots that mortally wounded Cherry behind the wheel of the Maserati on the Strip.
Cherry’s cousin, Shanna Cherry, said she was in court Wednesday to express her family’s hopes for justice on behalf of everyone affected. Most of Cherry’s family lives in the Oakland, Calif., area.
Michael Boldon, 62, of Las Vegas, and passenger Sandra Sutton-Wasmund, 48, of Maple Valley, Wash., were killed when the Maserati slammed into Boldon’s taxi on Las Vegas Boulevard and Flamingo Road. The neon-lit crossroads features such iconic resorts as Caesars Palace, Bellagio, Bally’s and the Flamingo.
Another man in the Maserati suffered gunshot wounds, and four other people in several vehicles were hurt in chain-reaction crashes.
Police found no gun in the Maserati and no evidence that Cherry returned fire before the crash.
The Range Rover was found two days later at an apartment complex near the Strip. Harris was arrested the following week, after an intense multi-state manhunt.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (10/15-10/21)
31 photos Launch gallery
1. Just a NY girl with BIG dreams....
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2. HAPPY CHILDREN=QUALITY PARENTING. We don't always see eye to eye on everything and that's normal. We're human beings. But we come together and do it right for what's important, the kids. We are not enemies, we are parents. And we are parents 1st. S/O to @monyettashaw for making Mason's bday memorable. S/O to @itscrystalsmith at home taking care of our other lil' Prince. ❤️❤️❤️ THIS IS WHAT CO-PARENTING LOOKS LIKE. #Blessed #Happy #AboveTheDrama #BiggerThanUs
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3. So happy to finally be able to share with you all that I’m the new Global Brand Ambassador for @Revlon! Follow my day on RevlonSnaps. Yay! Choose Love, Everybody! #RevlonXCiara #chooselove #ad
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4. Glam on point!!!@makeupbymotoko & @shaylinjoneshair #easybreezy @lifetimetv #beachesmovie #january2017 😘
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5. ✨True love ✨📸: @jessiemarrerophotography
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7. Today was not easy..but by the grace of God we all got through it. Words cannot express our gratitude for all of your Prayers, Positive thoughts and Support for us throughout the years. Tommy will be missed but most certainly never forgotten...And PLEASE don't ask "Where's Martin?.." he was there too...just not in this picture. Lol! God bless you all.. #LoveConquersAll #MartinShow
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9. West coast get ready for #RockyHorror. I will be live tweeting again. #letsdothetimewarpagain
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10. #THEKEYS pre order yours now ... Available everywhere #NOV22 #WeTheBest 🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑
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11. We about to ROCK at #KCABlackBall!! All for our life-changing effort to end 🌎 AIDS.
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12. Today's #SNAPJACK is brought to you by @yazzthegreatest 😂😂😂💋💋💋
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13. Damn girl you kinda old to be headed to the Go Go. You coming in at the age they leaving. LMAO
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14. Daddy daycare B-Boxin with @acewellstucker @shopraisingace
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15. #FBF Naviyd & URV "LIL MONSTERS"
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16. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ONE OF THE BIGGEST LEGENDS IN OUR HIPHOP HISTORY! @snoopdogg CONTINUED BLESSING AND LOVE FAMILY!!!!! REAL OG!
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17. Thank you for a beautiful night VSU! Let's do it again! #HOMECOMING
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18. Had a great time this morning with my familia Erica, Griff & Truth!!
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19. Check out my interview on @essence facebook live. #inmyownwords #nycpromo #day2
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20. #She💋 #tbt #TheCoveAtTheAtlantis #DawgPawsAndAll
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21. Bae #retailtherapy
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22. Why me and @coryhardrict got the same pose... and notee... new mouth #naked
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23. When my husband is my personal 'hype-man'! it kills me every time! 💜😂 #WHATNOW #lostfiles📷
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24. Diggy Simmons
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25. Hand full of @jacquieaiche 💙💎💍 @esnail_la 💅🏾
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26. SuperSoulers! You can watch my interview with Carl Lentz live from my Facebook page, tomorrow at 11a ET| 8a PT. #SuperSoulSunday
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27. 💋 .. When the friendship is easy like Sunday morning. ☀️
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28. Sunday mornings are the best........... hugs and cuddles with my angel
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29. #huggar16 #hellohuggars
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30. My gym is everywhere!.. #RnBMoney #TheGeneral 📸: @twelvepastseven
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31. Nothing I would rather be doing... Rocko setting up our movie, Romelō working on a puzzle & Laiyah singing and sharing all she's learning at school... I'm so grateful for the joy they've brought into my life ... Praying for peace , joy & love in the home of EVERY family ♥️ #HeadScarfPJSunday LOL 😂
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