Identity hearing set for Las Vegas Strip suspect
By LINDA DEUTSCH AP Special Correspondent March 4, 2013 2:42PM
LOS ANGELES (AP) — A man named as the suspect in a deadly shooting and fiery crash on the Las Vegas Strip made his first appearance in Los Angeles Superior Court on Monday and the judge scheduled a March 14 hearing to establish his identity.
The hearing will require officials from Nevada to present evidence that he is the person being sought by authorities in that state. Such a hearing is often a part of the extradition procedure.
The man, identified as Ammar Harris, 26, did not speak during the hearing, nor was a plea entered. He was represented by a public defender.
He 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., a rapper 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 a 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.
The cab driver 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, in the chain-reaction crashes. Three women were in the SUV with Harris.
The crash closed the Strip for about 15 hours while police investigated.
Two days later, police located the SUV parked at an apartment complex near the crash scene, triggering the multi-state search for Harris. Authorities obtained a warrant for his arrest on three murder counts, attempted murder and shooting charges.
Law enforcement officers arrested Harris at an apartment in Los Angeles’ Studio City area, hours after police found the last of the women who were with him in the SUV.
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.