Chicago's Harris indicted in '09 shooting

LAS VEGAS -- An associate of boxing champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. was indicted Wednesday in Las Vegas in a shooting involving a man who argued with the boxer last August at a skating rink.

A judge issued a warrant for Ocie Harris, 27, of Chicago, to appear May 4 in Clark County District Court for arraignment on a six-count felony indictment charging him with attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon, carrying a concealed firearm and discharging a weapon into a vehicle.

Harris was not in court when the indictment was handed up. His lawyer, Tom Pitaro, accused Clark County prosecutors of seeking an indictment that could get Harris decades in prison as a way to reach Mayweather.

"Mr. Harris has now become the pawn in this little fiasco that seems to be going on about trying to get the prizefighter, Mr. Mayweather," Pitaro said.

Clark County District Court Judge Elissa Cadish raised Harris' bail amount to $140,000, from the $7,500 posted March 7 following his arrest in Chicago and transfer in custody to Las Vegas.

Las Vegas police identified Harris as a Mayweather "friend or associate" after serving search warrants at Mayweather's home in the investigation of the Aug. 23 shooting outside the Crystal Palace Skating Center in Las Vegas.

But police also said Mayweather, 33, wasn't a suspect, and the fighter's name doesn't appear in Wednesday's indictment.

Mayweather is undefeated as a professional boxer, with 40 wins including 25 knockouts. He is due to fight Shane Mosley on May 1 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Mayweather representatives, including his manager, Leonard Ellerbe, declined to comment Wednesday about Harris' indictment.

Pitaro on Wednesday provided the judge with reference letters from Harris' employer at a Chicago-area medical van shuttle service and from a Chicago city alderman, Walter Burnett Jr.

Burnett did not immediately respond to an e-mail message, and the telephone was not answered after hours at his 27th ward office.

Clark County prosecutor Samuel Bateman said outside court Wednesday that he could not disclose what the grand jury was told about Mayweather's activities at the skating center. A grand jury transcript is expected to be released in several weeks.

The indictment cancels an evidentiary hearing that had been set May 17.

According to police, Mayweather argued with the man identified as a target in the shooting, Quincey Williams, about a text message Williams sent wishing the boxer bad luck in his next fight.

Witnesses told police they saw Harris talking with Mayweather minutes before Harris allegedly opened fire in the parking lot at a BMW sedan carrying Williams and another man, Damein Bland. Police said Harris was standing with Mayweather and another man during the shooting.

Bateman said Wednesday that five shots hit the back of the vehicle. Neither Williams nor Bland was wounded.

Mayweather later denied knowing anyone named Ocie or having any knowledge of a shooting. But police said the two men are linked through witnesses, surveillance videotapes and records seized when authorities served the warrants at Mayweather's home.