Las Vegas Sun

April 18, 2014

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Crime and courts:

Judge delays sentencing in rape case for suspect in Strip shooting

Newly appointed attorneys for Ammar Harris seek, receive postponement

Image

Steve Marcus

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.

Ammar Harris in Court in October 2013

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, Oct. 30, 2013. Launch slideshow »

Sentencing in a 2010 rape and robbery case for the man accused in a deadly shooting earlier this year on the Las Vegas Strip has been delayed into the new year.

Ammar Harris, 27, is in custody and awaiting trial on three capital murder charges stemming from a Feb. 21 shooting and crash on Las Vegas Boulevard. After Harris was taken into custody, a woman who earlier accused Harris of robbery and sexual assault resurfaced, and prosecutors reopened that case.

After a jury trial in September, Harris was convicted of three counts of sexual assault and one robbery charge. At the request of Harris’ defense team, District Judge Kathleen Delaney postponed Wednesday morning’s sentencing six weeks, to Jan. 15.

Attorneys Robert Langford and Thomas Ericsson recently were appointed to represent Harris after he reported conflicts with court-appointed special public defender David Schieck, who represented him in the sexual assault case.

After Wednesday’s hearing, Langford said the defense asked for the extension for “time to get familiar with the case.”

Harris’ trial in the Strip shooting case is scheduled for August 2014.

According to Metro Police reports and court records, the notorious Strip shooting began when Harris got into an argument in the valet area of the Aria with another man, Kenneth Cherry Jr.

After the two drove off in separate vehicles, Harris is accused of shooting at Cherry’s car as the two drove north on Las Vegas Boulevard.

Cherry was shot and subsequently lost control of the car and slammed into a cab, causing it to explode, authorities said.

Cherry died, as did cab driver Michael Boldon, 62, and Sandra Sutton-Wasmund, 48, a businesswoman from Maple Valley, Wash., who was a passenger in the cab.

Freddy Walters, a passenger in Cherry’s car, was shot but survived.

Harris remains in the Clark County Detention Center without bond.

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