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October 21, 2014

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Suspect in Las Vegas Strip shooting, crash appears in court

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Steve Marcus

Ammar Harris, the suspect the Feb. 21 Las Vegas Strip shooting and car crash that killed three people, listens to Deputy Special Public Defender David Schieck in court at the Regional Justice Center Wednesday, April 17, 2013.

Strip Shooting Suspect Makes Court Appearance

Ammar Harris, the suspect the Feb. 21 Las Vegas Strip shooting and car crash that killed three people, appears in court at the Regional Justice Center Wednesday, April  17, 2013. Launch slideshow »

Strip shooting crash

Smoke and flames billow from a burning vehicle following a shooting and multicar accident on the Las Vegas Strip early Thursday, Feb. 21, 2013. Launch slideshow »

The man accused of firing a gun while driving down the Las Vegas Strip, killing another driver and causing a fiery crash that killed two others, made his first appearance in a Nevada court Wednesday.

Ammar Harris, 27, was extradited Tuesday from California, where he was arrested on Feb. 28, a week after the Feb. 21 shooting.

On Wednesday, he appeared for a hearing in Las Vegas Justice Court shackled and wearing a dark blue jail jumper.

Harris anwered, “Yes, ma’am,” as Judge Deborah J. Lippis asked a short series of questions, including whether he had received a copy of and understood the charges against him — three counts of murder and one count of attempted murder, plus counts of discharging a firearm into a vehicle and discharging a firearm out of a vehicle.

When Lippis asked if Harris had sufficient resources to hire his own lawyer, he quietly said, “No, ma’am.”

Clark County public defenders David Schieck and Randy Pike requested time to review the charges and evidence and meet with their client before setting a date for a preliminary hearing. A status check was scheduled for April 29.

District Attorney Steve Wolfson attended the hearing and said his office was in the process of getting “thousands of pages” of documents and evidence to the defense.

“We’re glad Mr. Harris is here. He has a right to counsel; he’s got a right to a trial, a lot of rights. Now that he’s here, he can get those things, and we’re just glad we can move forward with the prosecution,” Wolfson said.

Wolfson said a decision about seeking the death penalty would be made down the line but that it was still a possibility.

Tehran Boldon, the brother of a cab driver killed in the incident, attended the hearing and said Harris was “callous” and a “coward” and he hopes the defendant “gets what he deserves.”

“I hope they punish him as much as this court can,” Boldon said, choking up. “He doesn’t deserve to walk right now. He is an example of what is wrong with our society.”

Harris was identified by Metro Police as the person who fired gunshots from a Range Rover into a Maserati sports car in the early morning hours of Feb. 21 as the vehicles made their way up the Las Vegas Strip.

Kenneth Cherry Jr., the driver of the Maserati, and a passenger were hit in the shooting. Cherry’s wounds caused him to lose control of the car, which ran a red light at Flamingo Road and crashed into a taxi.

The impact triggered an explosion in the cab. Three people were killed: Cherry; the cab driver, Michael Boldon, 62, of Las Vegas; and cab passenger Sandra Sutton-Wasmund, 48, a businesswoman from Maple Valley, Wash.

The criminal complaint filed against Harris identified the passenger who survived as Freddy Walters.

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  1. asked if Harris had sufficient resources to hire his own lawyer, he quietly said, "No, ma'am."

    what happened to the two bags of cash he had? Diamond earrings, rapper watches? the Range Rover?
    he managed to pay for the life a few months ago.