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Brother of Vegas crash victim speaks out

Taxi driver Michael Boldon was killed in a crash on the Strip after a fatal shooting. His brother questions why the shooting suspect had access to guns.

March 05, 2013|By Richard Winton, Los Angeles Times
  • A wild shooting attack on the Las Vegas Strip early Thursday morning caused a fiery crash with a taxi and left three people dead.
A wild shooting attack on the Las Vegas Strip early Thursday morning caused… ( Jeff Scheid / Las Vegas Review-Journal )

The brother of a taxi driver killed in a crash on the Las Vegas Strip last month said he wants the suspect in the case punished — and stiffer gun control to keep weapons out of the hands of people with criminal pasts.

Michael Boldon, 62, died Feb. 21 after suspect Ammar Harris, a self-described pimp, allegedly shot and killed Oakland rapper Kenneth Cherry Jr. after an altercation at the Aria Casino. Cherry's Maserati crashed into a taxicab, which exploded in flames, killing Boldon and a passenger, Sandra Sutton-Wasmund, according to prosecutors.

On Monday, Tehran Boldon, the victim's brother, sat in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom and stared at Harris, who was captured last week in Studio City.

"He was an innocent bystander. He wasn't a pimp or rapper. He was a man earning a living and caring for his family," said Tehran Boldon of his brother, who moved to Las Vegas two years ago to help take care of their ailing 93-year-old mother.

Tehran Boldon listened as a judge ordered Harris to appear again March 14 for an extradition hearing. "That would have been Michael's 63rd birthday," he said. "His family isn't going to go away. We are going to keep coming until justice is served."

Tehran Boldon says he wants to know why Harris, with a multi-state criminal record, was carrying a gun.

"There are too many violent felons out there with guns," he said. "We need legislation to eliminate assault weapons and stop guns from getting into the hands of violent criminals, and we need to stop giving in to the gun lobby."

Authorities have described Harris as a violent and dangerous criminal with convictions in South Carolina and Georgia. He had also been arrested in Las Vegas on suspicion of sexual assault and pandering with force, Las Vegas police said.

Also Monday, Michael Boldon's son and estate filed a negligence lawsuit in Las Vegas against Harris.

"The early nature of the lawsuit is to get subpoena power so we get information about what occurred," said attorney Lawrence J. Smith. Because of the criminal investigation, the family has found it difficult to get basic information about the crash. "We don't even know the make of vehicle he was driving that night," Smith said about Michael Boldon.

The suit also names the unidentified manufacturer of the taxi as a defendant. Smith said he has been told the vehicle was not a gas or propane vehicle and said the family has not been provided an explanation for the explosion of flames.

richard.winton@latimes.com

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