A woman from Maple Valley was among those who died in the shooting-caused fireball crash on the Las Vegas Strip.
LAS VEGAS — A jury decided Wednesday that a 29-year-old self-styled pimp should be sentenced to death for killing three people, including a Seattle-area woman, firing into a moving vehicle after a dispute at a hip-hop event at a posh Las Vegas Strip resort.
Ammar Asim Faruq Harris was not in the courtroom when relatives and friends of the victims sobbed and shouted after the verdict was read Wednesday in Clark County District Court.
The jury Oct. 26 convicted Harris of first-degree murder, attempted murder and weapon charges in the February 2013 vehicle-to-vehicle shooting that sparked a fireball crash.
Clark County District Court Judge Kathleen Delaney set Jan. 4 as the date for formal sentencing.
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The death sentence will automatically be appealed to the state Supreme Court. It won’t change Harris’ housing, because he’s already held at Ely State Prison, the state’s most secure facility and home of death row.
Harris didn’t testify during his trial.
No one disputed during the weeklong trial that Harris was the shooter in the deadly Feb. 21, 2013, disaster.
Prosecutor Pamela Weckerly cast him as so ego-driven that a “sense of insult” after exchanging angry words with a man in the valet area at the Aria Resort & Casino was enough to spark the murderous rampage that left cars crashed and burning at the busiest intersection in Las Vegas.
Video recorded Harris’ black Range Rover jockeying for position with a Maserati in a chase between stoplights on neon-lit Las Vegas Boulevard, and the sound of gunshots from the SUV before the sports car accelerated through a red light and slammed into a taxi that ignited in flames in front of the Caesars Palace and Flamingo resorts.
Aspiring rapper Kenneth Wayne Cherry Jr. was mortally wounded in the Maserati. A passenger, Freddy Walters, was wounded. Cabdriver Michael Boldon and his passenger, Sandra Sutton-Wasmund, 48, of Maple Valley, died in the flaming taxi.
At least five other vehicles were damaged in chain-reaction crashes.