LOS ANGELES (CBS/AP) – A self-described pimp suspected of shooting and Oakland man, causing a fiery crash on the Las Vegas Strip, stood silently in court Monday while the grief-stricken brother of a taxi driver killed in the mayhem glared at him from the courtroom gallery.
The suspect, identified as Ammar Harris, 26, did not speak or enter a plea as proceedings began to extradite him to Nevada.
He was represented by a public defender, and the judge set another hearing March 14 to establish his identity.
The hearing lasted only a moment. But for Tehran Boldon, the brother of victim Michael Boldon, it had been worth the hours spent traveling from Long Beach and waiting in court.
“I would have come from China if I had to,” he told The Associated Press.
Tehran Boldon later spoke of the devastation felt by members of his family after they learned that Michael Boldon and his passenger had died during the attack on an aspiring rapper.
“Mike was a go-to-guy, a real … American, an honest, hardworking, God-fearing grandfather, brother and uncle,” his brother said. “This man has destroyed my family deeply.”
A chain-reaction crash on the Strip turned Boldon’s cab into a fireball in a violent scene that some tourists who saw it compared to a scene from an action movie.
The March 14 hearing will require officials from Nevada to present evidence in the Los Angeles County court that the man identified as Harris in court is the same person who was being sought by authorities.
Such a hearing is often a part of the extradition procedure.
Superior Court Judge Shelly Torrealba rejected media requests to photograph Harris due to the pending identity issue. He wore jeans and a long-sleeved white T-shirt with a logo on the front.
Harris was arrested Thursday in Los Angeles, ending a weeklong manhunt that began after the Feb. 21 shooting and crash that killed three people and injured five others.
Authorities allege Harris was driving his black Range Rover SUV when he fired at least five shots into a Maserati sports car, killing Kenneth Wayne Cherry Jr., an aspiring rapper – originally from Oakland – who called himself Kenny Clutch.
The two men had argued minutes earlier in a casino valet area, police said.
After Cherry was struck, the Maserati careened into the taxi that exploded in a spectacular fireball at Las Vegas Boulevard and Flamingo Road, one of the most famous neon-lit crossroads in Las Vegas.
Michael Boldon and his passenger were killed. A passenger in the Maserati was shot in the arm, and four people in four other vehicles were hurt, none seriously.
Law enforcement officers arrested Harris at an apartment in Studio City.
Harris is a convicted felon in South Carolina who shows fists full of money on Internet posts and boasts of a high-rolling lifestyle with prostitutes in Miami and Las Vegas.
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