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Friday, March 1, 2013

Murder LA 000019

by James Cohen

Kenneth Cherry Jr wanted to be famous. Hailing from Oakland, he participated in the Bay area's hyphy music scene. The 27-year-old had adopted the stage name Kenny Clutch and moved to Las Vegas to pursue a career as a professional rapper. In his Stay Schemin music video he sports a large image of Kenny from South Park on a chain and shows off his Maserati, which I'm pretty sure he says cost $120 (thousand, presumably).

On Thursday, February 21st, shortly after 4am, Cherry and a friend left the Aria hotel, where he had gone to see rapper French Montana perform. While at the valet to retrieve his Maserati, Cherry allegedly got in an argument with 26-year-old Ammar Harris.

Harris got into his black Range Rover and caught up to Cherry near the intersection of Las Vegas Blvd and Flamingo Rd, shooting him twice.

Michael Bolden moved from Detroit to Vegas last year to help care for their ailing mother. Bolden, 62, found employment within two days of relocating: driving a taxi on the strip. His sister recalls that he never complained about his work. Bolden recently became a grandfather, and the child was named after him.

When Cherry was shot, he accelerated through a red light and straight into Bolden's taxi, which burst into flames. Bolden's passenger at the time was Sandra Sutton-Wasmund, a native of Washington, who was in town for a convention. Cherry, Bolden and Sutton-Wasmund all died at the scene. Several other people were injured when their cars were also involved in the accident. Cherry's friend, also in the Maserati, survived and has been cooperative with authorities.

The city's cab drivers circled around the site the following day at 4:30am to pay tribute. They left their meters running for 20 minutes and donated the money to a fund for Bolden's family.

The Range Rover was found outside of Harris' home, two blocks from the crime scene, but he had already fled. The Vegas Police Dept released a video of their suspect wherein he attempts to count all of his money but gets tired and stops.

On Thursday, Feb 28th, the FBI located Harris, who was staying in an apartment on Arch Dr, off Ventura Blvd near Vineland, within walking distance of Universal Studios. The arrest went smoothly as he surrendered to authorities. There was reportedly a woman staying with him who was not arrested.

Harris is scheduled to appear in court on Monday and be extradited to Nevada.


  • Some journalists seem confused by a certain colloquialism, with one CBS affiliate referring to Cherry as a "well-known pimp." Apparently this spread shortly after the shooting but was quickly repudiated by a relative who called it an "image."
  • Speaking of misinformation, LVPD deliberately misidentified a person of interest in a photo as a D-list reality show celebrity to "drum up some talk so that we can determine who we're actually dealing with." The ultimate purpose seems a little unclear - did they get social networkers to identify the mystery woman for them? Either way, seems like a bad legal move to admit to messing with the reputation of a woman they knew was not involved with the incident.