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November 23, 2014

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Girlfriend of rapper shot to death on Las Vegas Strip says he was no pimp

Image

Brian Nordli

Kenneth Cherry Sr. talks about the life of his son, Kenneth Cherry Jr., with his sister Becky Cherry, center, and his son’s girlfriend, May Hagos, in a press gathering at the Turnberry Towers on Saturday, Feb. 23, 2013. Cherry Jr. was shot and killed while driving his Maserati on the Strip after a verbal altercation at the Aria valet area Thursday morning.

Updated Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2013 | 5:08 p.m.

Strip shooting crash

Smoke and flames billow from a burning vehicle following a shooting and multicar accident on the Las Vegas Strip early Thursday, Feb. 21, 2013. Launch slideshow »

Kenneth Cherry Jr.’s girlfriend on Tuesday vehemently refuted media reports that Cherry, who was shot to death while driving his Maserati on the Las Vegas Strip, was a pimp.

Asmayit Hagos, 22, of Alameda, Calif., said Cherry never harmed her. “He put everyone before himself,” Hagos said during a news conference at a Las Vegas law office. “He was not abusive. Not once.”

Hagos also flatly denied media reports that Cherry had abused other women. But in 2011, another California woman filed a restraining order accusing Cherry of domestic violence.

Cherry and Hagos had discussed marriage, she said, but she never asked the aspiring rapper about his income or how he had the money to afford an expensive Maserati sports car.

Hagos has had her own legal challenges, though. In 2011 she pleaded guilty to attempted grand larceny. A few months before she entered the plea, Hagos had agreed to perform sexual acts to an undercover police officer before attempting to steal a bottle of liquor from his room, according to a Metro Police report.

Clark County District Court records show Hagos was given a suspended sentence and ordered placed on intensive supervised probation. Among the conditions of her probation was for Hagos not to obtain any employment as an escort or outcall dancer. A bench warrant charging her with violating conditions of her probation was issued Wednesday.

Hagos denied Cherry had ever encouraged her to prostitute herself. Instead, Hagos depicted Cherry as a loving father who smoked marijuana but didn’t do other drugs.

Hagos couldn’t provide details on what Cherry and 26-year-old Ammar Harris, the man police suspect to be the shooter, had argued about last week.

Cherry was killed early Thursday from shots fired from a black Range Rover as the two vehicles drove on the Las Vegas Strip, Metro Police said.

After Cherry was shot, his Maserati crashed into a taxi, which exploded, killing cab driver Michael Boldon, 62, of Las Vegas, and a passenger in the taxi, Sandra Sutton-Wasmund, 48, of Maple Valley, Wash.

A passenger in Cherry’s car also was injured.

Police believe the shooting occurred after a verbal altercation between Cherry and Harris, 26, at the Aria casino valet area. Harris had been in a nightclub before the altercation, police said

Police have issued a warrant charging Harris, who has not been apprehended, with three counts of murder.

At today’s news conference, Hagos said that although she lives in California, she spoke to Cherry, an aspiring rapper known as Kenny Clutch, every night. She said she was certain Cherry was focused on his rap career and wasn’t engaged in any kind of criminal activity.

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  1. Lol at this

  2. Yeah, and he could afford to live in a high rise condo and drive a Maserati because he made his money how?????

    Live by the sword, die by the sword.

  3. Anyone reading this article....please look at Cherry/Clutch/Whatever his name is Myspace page....look at these photos, of guns, pot, and more money than I've ever seen in front of me at one time.

    He didn't seem to be living life without means, but no one can say how he earned it.

    Myspace:
    http://www.myspace.com/175794082

    Facebook:
    https://www.facebook.com/kenny.clutch

    Twitter:
    https://twitter.com/KENNYCLUTCH

    Take a good look at the pictures linked in his twitter feed, it's pictures of guns, drinking, weed, and money....and of course the now infamous Maserati he drove.

    Yea, no one can say what he does for a living. Wonder when the last time he filled taxes was.

  4. Ever notice how anyone who gets killed violently becomes a saint all of a sudden? It seems a trend that no matter how obvious it is that a person lived a violent life, at the moment of his death, he was a "great guy" "would never hurt anyone" it's sad.

  5. By her own admission she knows little to nothing but knows he was not involved in any kind of criminal activity.

    She is not a credible source.

  6. Funny how Kenneth Cherry Jr.'s girlfriend was arrested in the past for prostitution. Yet she is saying that he is not a pimp... Hmmmm. Come on Las Vegas Sun, lets do a little actual journalism and get to the bottom of this story. Or would you like your readers to do that for you?

  7. Is the Sun suddenly the PR company for this guy?

  8. "Hagos has had her own legal challenges, though. In 2011 she pleaded guilty to attempted grand larceny. A few months before she entered the plea, Hagos had agreed to perform sexual acts to an undercover police officer before attempting to steal a bottle of liquor from his room, according to a Metro Police report."

    Herein lies the problem...Metro Vice spends too much time on misdemeanor crimes like soliciting (and over a bottle worth over $600 - really?)

    The priority must be shifted to the pimps who commit almost exclusively FELONY crimes... How about following the prostitute to watch her giving her money to the pimp. Detective Baughman says there are 'thousands' of pimps in Las Vegas. They have the time to follow cops they don't like but not to terminate the careers of pimps!

  9. I believed the news reports that cherry was a pimp, until his hooker girlfriend denied it.

  10. He was an entepreneur!

  11. Let's see we have a black man driving an expensive car, so he must be a pimp. It couldn't be that his family had money to finance his lifestyle, nope he must be a pimp.

    I mean he was arrested a total of ZERO times for Pandering. He charged with Pandering ZERO times and he has a whopping ZERO prosecutions for pandering. The only reasonable conclusion to draw is that he must be pandering.

    Not a single person who knew him has come forward an called him a pimp. Not a single person has come forward with a shred of evidence that he had a stable of girls.

    While so many are willing to believe this rumor that not a single person stands behind, they ignore the facts.

    Who would you believe telling you Cherry wasn't a pimp? What would it take to abandoned this nonsense?

    Why do you feel Metro is in cahoots with Cherry?

    What does the LVMPD have to gain by telling us -unequivocally that "there is no evidence -- either through an arrest record or current investigations -- tying Cherry to any form of prostitution?"

  12. bghs1986 is exactly right!

    The comments being here about Cherry, who was one of the victims, are worse than those that have appeared on the stories about the actual shooter, (and the only person had a weapon) Harris. And all almost all of these comments have been inspired by (disgusting) OPINION columns by John L. Smith of the RJ.

    It turns my stomach to see these comments and wonder what Cherry's family must feel when they read them. How would any parent feel reading something like this about one of their children?

    This is blatant racism and there are some posting this crap who should especially feel ashamed for doing so.

  13. NativeNevadian,

    The various reports about what kind of person Cherry was might be true, I don't know, but that is not the issue for me.

    What bothers me is that people have attacked him even more than they have Harris, the man who actually committed this crime and caused the death of not only Cherry, but the cab driver and his passenger. And they are attacking Cherry in the most vile ways that I have ever seen in this newspaper.

    I say show some sympathy for his parents. Think about how you would feel if this story was about one of your children. I would be very surprised if every child of the people posting this garbage was a perfect little angel.

    No one who has read even six of my posts would ever dream of calling me a bleeding heart, yet I find this response to what has happened to be on the verge of the obscene and completely out of line and inappropriate.

    The shooter, Harris, is the person who caused all of this. At the very least people should direct their hatred at him. Yet the comments being made about Cherry, and his girlfriend, are far more hateful than those on the stories about Harris.

    Shameful doesn't come close to describing this.

  14. Really shameful comments in here, condemning a man and essentially celebrating his death for what you assume he did for a living despite having zero proof?Your comments are ignorant at best, and racist at worst.Probably a mixture of both.Thank God Metro doesn't suffer from the same xenophobia that some of you appear to suffer from.They are searching for justice for Mr.Cherry just as they search for justice for Mr.Bolden and Mrs.Sutton.

  15. sandy_astroglide,

    The "story" you refer to in the RJ is an OPINION column. The author, John L.Smith, mentions "court documents" as his source but fails to give either case numbers or links to where the documents can be found so we can read the full context and conclusions for ourselves.

    NativeNevadian,

    I have not read where Cherry followed Harris. It is more reasonable to think that Cherry was trying to get away from Harris and Harris followed Cherry and murdered him. In other words, Cherry was doing exactly what you suggested, trying to avoid further conflict.

    Again, it really doesn't matter what kind of person Cherry was, this horrible act that resulted in the loss of three lives was committed by Harris and the various comments condemning Cherry are inexcusable.

  16. Here's a suggestion....Metro should go look through this guy's apartment and see what they can find. Drugs? Guns? Lots of cash? Lots of jewelry? Expensive shoes and purses.....not typical for a guy, but ok....

    Next, look through his phone. If they want to see if he had a prior connection to the person who shot him check the cell phone records. If he was a pimp, he should have the numbers of several lady friends in there that they can contact for more information leading up to his death.

    I'd still like to know who was in the car with him when this happened. Male/Female...what was the relationship there?

    Really no investigative journalism going on here. Very sad. Then again we all know that drugs, drinking, violence, prostitution and homelessness are issues in this city. But the one thing that never seems to happen are the vetting of those sections of our city for the betterment of our people on a whole. Why not expose someone for who they are? Why not try to weed out more?

    Take away the expensive car, aspiring rap dreams, drugs, drink, jewelry and all that jazz and you know what you had....a really normal guy with three kids. People lose themselves in Vegas, or they find themselves. I have a good feeling this guy got lost.

  17. @ AshleyAshley "Here's a suggestion....Metro should go look through this guy's apartment and see what they can find."

    Here's a suggestion for you Ashley. First, have an adult explain the 4th Amendment to you. Then have them explain the following statement:

    "Some media outlets have suggested Cherry was a pimp, but Metro Police spokespeople say there is no evidence -- either through an arrest record or current investigations -- tying Cherry to any form of prostitution."

    Still. I wonder Ashley, what would be the purpose of searching Cherry's home anyway. In the unlikely event evidence of criminal behavior was found, they can'y charge a corpse. But you don't care about that. You want to waste Metro's time and resources searching for something, ANYTHING that will justify your schadenfreude.

    @By NativeNevadian "I'm sure his family doesn't have this type of wealth to support this lifestyle. Or they would say "hey we were financially supporting him".

    Girl, they have said just that.

    "If I got in some kind of argument with someone...I wouldn't go get into my car and follow them." Of course you wouldn't, and neither did Cherry, He left the Aria first and was followed by the shooter.

    @ Bob_Realist...No, there is no audio of the woman whose accusations are the basis for these vile accusations. Maybe Smith can get her on tape after she gets out of jail in Reno, where she was recently arrested for trafficking Meth. Until then we should just take this drug dealer's word as gospel.

    We all know how truthful meth heads can be, right.

  18. The taxi was not a alternative CNG powered car. It was only assumed at first. After investagating it it was determinded to be a liguid petroleum car.

  19. @ BGHS1986 - It seems there's more to what's on the surface. Normal verbal altercations aren't followed by a car chase and shootout. Yes, there is more of a story to be told here and it is Metro's job to figure out how and why, it will be their job to give a case to the DA if they're able to catch and prosecute Ammar Harris.

  20. Suppose Somebody said.....

    Three people died in a fiery crash on the Strip last week.

    While much conjecture has been posted here, there is clear evidence that one of the victims was a part of the flesh trade here in Las Vegas.

    One of those killed was paid to bring customers of the sex industry to door of sex workers. Only one of them is being missed by those with a well documented history of promoting prostitution.

    That one person was not Kenneth Cherry. That person was cab driver Michael Boldon. Boldon, like all Vegas cabbies earned extra money ferrying men to strip clubs. These clubs rewarded Boldon for the customers he dropped at their door.

    Boldon seems to have made quite an impact on one club in particular. Peter Feinstein, a managing partner of the Sapphire Gentlemen's Club, announced that the company is contributing $5,000 to the Boldon family.

    For those who may not remember, nearly a dozen dancers from the Sapphire were recently arrested by police on prostitution and drug charges at the Rio

    While entirely accurate, posting this information should be met with contempt, and I'm sure it will be.

    Yet similar, though completely baseless, posts about Cherry are celebrated.

  21. Schadenfruede is thought to be human malice in one of its basest and most spineless forms. Engaging in Schadenfruede is a highly unattractive character trait.

    It is disturbing that so many people seem eager to accept unsubstantiated gossip as the truth about Kenneth Cherry Jr. I think the reason they are so quick to believe these rumors is because they are consistent with their own racist narrative.

    Do the readers who are taking malicious delight in the death of Mr. Cherry care at all that their ugly comments will only inflict more pain on a grieving family?

  22. BGHS, if you think that there are more angles to this case then vet them out.

  23. Hey Gang, dont forget to look at this great article about the girl who is wanted and believe to have been with Ammar Harris in the Range Rover on the night of the shooting. She's been MIA since that night.

    http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2013/feb...

  24. @AshleyAShley..."Normal verbal altercations aren't followed by a car chase and shootout." First off, there was no SHOOTOUT. A shootout requires two gunmen exchanging fire. This was a shooting.

    And while normally verbal altercations don't become deadly it does happen. It happens a lot more than either of us would like.

    http://bit.ly/WrrwlS
    http://bit.ly/YzTGe2
    http://bit.ly/Y0GZcj

    I do agree that, "there is more of a story to be told here and it is Metro's job to figure out how and why..."

    So why do you refuse to listen to what Metro has figured out so far??

    There is no more evidence pointing to Cherry being a pimp than there is pointing to you being a prostitute.

    @NativeNevadan..."Ok...so Kenny Cherry wasn't a pimp...he just pretended to be one.
    Rolling eyes..."

    I am shocked that someone pretending not to be full of hate can't understand that people pretend to be things they are not all the time.

    Proclaiming that one is a P.I.M.P is part of the culture. Much like Dean Martin would PRETEND to be a drunk on stage while his cup held nothing stronger than soda, it's an act.

    Here's a great example. (http://bit.ly/13XCBhK)

  25. It is bad enough that so many readers are deriving twisted pleasure from the misfortune of another, but to then openly gloat about his death is truly depraved and shameful. They are predators--social cannibals.

  26. @bghs....metro isn't saying very much, nor is the sun reporting very much. I see more in out of town papers and national news coverage about this story than the sun is willing to report right now.

    Kind of strange dont you think?

    And who says that this girl they're now identifying as a person of interesting that was with Harris wasn't the driver, shooter, or in some other way involved?

    "There is no more evidence pointing to Cherry being a pimp than there is pointing to you being a prostitute."

    Look at the man's social media websites...something doesn't add up.

  27. @Ashley..."metro isn't saying very much,"

    Metro is telling us who their suspect is. They are telling us about his criminal record. They are telling us the events that lead up to the shooting, They are telling us the names of people that Harris might be in contact with. What more do you think your entitled to know.

    It doesn't seem like it matters what Metro reports, as you don't seem to listen if it challenges your schadenfreude. I say this because Metro has told us, and the SUN reported....

    "THERE IS NO EVIDENCE..--EITHER THROUGH AN ARREST REPORT OR CURRENT INVESTIGATION -- TYING CHERRY TO ANY FORM OF PROSTITUTION."

    The persona Cherry created and put forth his "social media websites" are promotion, hype. The only reason it doesn't "add up" for you is only because you are unable to do the math.

    Sociologist Dr. Maurice Delacourt studed the background of 647 up-and-coming and established hip-hop stars who billed themselves as "gangstas" or "pimps." He found less than half grew up poor, and ONLY SIX were raised in|households with incomes below the poverty line.

    Most were like Cherry. "A full 337 of the rappers were raised in upper middle class families with incomes exceeding $100,000 a year,"

    Like every celebrity out there, "They'll say or do anything to make a name for themselves, stretching the truth about about their backgrounds included."

    All intended to fool their major customer base, preteens.

    You should worry that you are as gullible as they are.

  28. In a couple weeks this will be forgotten and everyone will jump on the next big story and it won't matter if the guy in the maserati with no tags had an altercation with a thug at a hotel and was shot and killed and caused 2 innocent people thier lives , or is it 3 innocent people?

  29. @bghs - There was no upcoming rap star in this story. The truth is your content with what the media tells you. I'm not.

  30. @Ashley..."The truth is your content with what the media tells you." This statement alone says so much about you. Even a cursory look at my history of comments would convince anyone that I am never content with what anyone tells me.

    You see I am content in basing my opinions on facts. You are not. If the facts mattered to you, you wouldn't have made that statement about me, but the truth doesn't matter to you.

    If the truth mattered to you then you would have never said, "There was no upcoming rap star in this story." Because that is an outright lie. Whether it was an accurate description or not, this story contained multiple references to an "aspiring rapper."

    Do you have any evidence that Cherry did not want a career in rap music? Do you have evidence of anything?

    I count six inaccurate statements (if not outright lies) posted by you on this story alone. Nothing in Cherry's MySpace account (which has remained dormant for three years) his Facebook page or his Twitter account provide any indication that Cherry was involved in any of the activities that his killer had been involved in.

    The simple fact that you have not posted a single word of interest about the lives of the other two victims. Why is that? Have you combed through the cab driver's social media sites? Have you investigated whether or not the passenger's career in the fashion industry included the exploitation of child labor in other countries?

    But those two didn't drive a car and live in a luxury condo. They weren't more successful than you. If you can convince yourself Cherry's lifestyle was the result of illegal activity, it might just stomp out that green-eyed monster that just seethes at the idea of a 27 year-old black man driving a car you can't afford and living in a condo well beyond your means.

  31. @Kenny Rogers ... It was the shooter's car, the Rangve Rover that didn't have tags.