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November 27, 2015

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


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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