LAS VEGAS (AP) — A self-described pimp was sentenced Wednesday to 16 years to life in Nevada state prison in a rape and robbery case that served as a prelude to his death penalty trial later this year in a Las Vegas Strip shooting and fiery crash that left three people dead.
Ammar Asim Faruq Harris, 27, stood with his shackled hands in orange mitts and declined to speak before his sentencing Wednesday in Clark County District Court.
His lawyer, Robert Langford, told Judge Kathleen Delaney that Harris will appeal his conviction and sentence, and that Harris wasn’t the bad person he had been made out to be.
“His history is not as bad as they say,” Langford said. “There is going to be an appeal of this. That’s why he doesn’t want to address the court.”
Prosecutor Lisa Luzaich cast Harris as a repeat felon who bragged that he made a living exploiting and abusing women even before a jury in Las Vegas found him guilty in September of raping and robbing an 18-year-old woman at a Las Vegas condominium in June 2010.
Harris has never been convicted of pimping. But he was convicted in South Carolina in 2004 of felony possession with intent to sell a stolen pistol and in Atlanta of misdemeanor marijuana possession.
In the months before the shooting, Harris posted Internet videos of himself fanning a wad of $100 bills and boasting about luxury cars, prostitutes and women who paid him. Records showed he lived in Miami, Atlanta and Las Vegas.
Luzaich said Harris’ marijuana conviction was a plea bargain stemming from a felony charge.
“There’s nobody who can show he’s a productive member of society,” the prosecutor said.
Harris is due for trial Sept. 28 in the Strip shooting and crash that killed an aspiring rapper, a cab driver and taxi passenger a little over a year ago.
He is accused of shooting from a black Range Rover and mortally wounding aspiring rapper Kenneth Cherry Jr. behind the wheel of a Maserati sports car after the two men exchanged words at a casino valet stand.
The Maserati sped forward and crashed into a taxi, igniting a fireball that killed cab driver Michael Boldon and passenger Sandra Sutton-Wasmund of Maple Valley, Wash.
Another man in the Maserati suffered gunshot wounds, but survived. Five other people in several other vehicles involved in the crash suffered lesser injuries.
Boldon’s younger brother, Tehran Boldon, watched Harris’ sentencing Wednesday and compared the sex assault case to a playoff game leading to the trial involving the shooting and crash.
“Not a day goes by that I don’t think of my brother,” Boldon said. “I won’t be satisfied until it’s all said and done.”
Find Ken Ritter on Twitter: http://twitter.com/krttr