Michael Boldon's son and estate filed the negligence lawsuit Monday in Las Vegas against Ammar Harris, the man prosecutors have charged with shooting and killing Oakland rapper Kenneth Cherry Jr.; cab driver Boldon and passenger Sandra Sutton-Wasmund cab died when Cherry's out-of-control Maserati struck the taxi.
Prosecutors say the shooting occurred after a verbal altercation between Harris and Cherry at the Aria Casino. Harris allegedly shot and killed Cherry as the two drove along Las Vegas Boulevard near the Flamingo Boulevard intersection, sending the latter's vehicle into Boldon's taxi and causing it to explode into flames.
"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 of Boldon.
"He was an innocent bystander. He wasn't a pimp or rapper. He was a man earning a living caring for his family," said Tehran Boldon of his brother, who moved to Las Vegas two years ago to help take care of his ailing 93-year-old mother.
Harris, 26, allegedly fled Las Vegas after the Feb. 21 shooting but was captured Thursday at a Studio CIty apartment. He appeared Monday in a Los Angeles courtroom hearing, during which a judge scheduled a extradition hearing March 14.
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.
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-- Richard Winton
Photo: Las Vegas shooting suspect Ammar Harris. Credit: Las Vegas Police Department