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Archive for Wednesday, March 12, 2008

2 charged in shooting death

Sheriff Ken McGovern, left, and Douglas County District Attorney Charles Branson announce charges filed against two men, Major C. Edwards, 28, Lawrence, and  Durell A. Jones, 23, Kansas City, Kan., with first degree murder for the shooting death of Anthony "Clacc" Vital.  Vital, a local hip-hop artist, was shot multiple times and his body was found in October 2006 on a private drive west of Lawrence.  Both Edwards and Jones are currently are in federal custody.

Sheriff Ken McGovern, left, and Douglas County District Attorney Charles Branson announce charges filed against two men, Major C. Edwards, 28, Lawrence, and Durell A. Jones, 23, Kansas City, Kan., with first degree murder for the shooting death of Anthony "Clacc" Vital. Vital, a local hip-hop artist, was shot multiple times and his body was found in October 2006 on a private drive west of Lawrence. Both Edwards and Jones are currently are in federal custody.

March 12, 2008

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Charges filed against two men in shooting death

It's been nearly a year-and-a-half since the crime, and today formal charges are filed against two men in the shooting death of a local hip-hop artist. Enlarge video

Press conference for Vital murder charges

Douglas County Sheriff Ken McGovern and District Attorney Charles Branson hold a press conference about the charges of first-degree murder against Major C. Edwards and Durall A. Jones in the Anthony "Clacc" Vital case. Enlarge video

Major C. Edwards Jr., left, and Durell Jones face murder charges in the October 2006 shooting death of Anthony "Clacc" Vital.

Major C. Edwards Jr., left, and Durell Jones face murder charges in the October 2006 shooting death of Anthony "Clacc" Vital.

Douglas County Sheriff Ken McGovern, left, and Douglas County District Attorney Charles Branson announce first-degree murder charges Tuesday against Major C. Edwards and  Durell A. Jones in the shooting death of Anthony "Clacc" Vital.

Douglas County Sheriff Ken McGovern, left, and Douglas County District Attorney Charles Branson announce first-degree murder charges Tuesday against Major C. Edwards and Durell A. Jones in the shooting death of Anthony "Clacc" Vital.

Douglas County authorities believe they've closed the book this week on a murder investigation that began 17 months ago with the discovery of a body on a private country lane.

Two men, already in custody awaiting sentencing in federal cases, were charged in Douglas County with the murder of Lawrence hip-hop musician Anthony "Clacc" Vital, 28.

Major C. Edwards Jr., 28, of Lawrence, and Durell A. Jones, 23, of Kansas City, Kan., are each charged with one count of first-degree murder.

Sheriff Ken McGovern commended detectives for solving a difficult case.

"They've been on this since day one and they're still following up," McGovern said during a Tuesday news conference with District Attorney Charles Branson. "We're talking a rural setting and not (many) witnesses and not much information."

Vital's body was found Oct. 15, 2006, on private property 2 miles west of Lawrence. He died from multiple gunshot wounds. An investigation during the next several days led to Edwards, who was described at the time as a "person of interest" by the sheriff's office.

Edwards - also known as "Ja Ja" - later was arrested near Tupelo, Miss., on federal gun charges. In January, Edwards pleaded guilty to one count of unlawful possession of a sawed-off shotgun. He is scheduled to be sentenced on April 14.

Jones is awaiting sentencing later this month in a federal drug case. He pleaded guilty to possession of crack cocaine with intent to distribute.

Investigators presented information they had in the case last week to Branson's office, McGovern said. Charges were filed Monday afternoon. The federal cases did not have an effect on the timing of the county charges, McGovern said. Instead, it was a matter of record-keeping and getting all investigative information together, he said.

Efforts are under way to arrange with federal authorities to have Edwards and Jones brought to Douglas County, Branson said.

Branson and McGovern said they do not expect to charge anyone else in the Vital case nor do they expect additional charges against Edwards and Jones.

Investigators also have stayed in touch with Vital's family about the investigation, McGovern said.

"We're trying to keep them informed on what we're doing and I think that's the right thing to do," he said. "They've been really good with working with us and, hopefully, it'll give them some relief from what's happening."

Vital, who was born in Lake Charles, La., moved to Lawrence in 1996. At the time of his death he was a member of a local hip-hop group called DaBombSquad. He used the name Clacc.

Edwards also was in the music business, according to federal court documents. Sheriff's officers began looking at Edwards after Vital's wife told them that the last time she'd seen her husband - about 9 p.m. the night before his body was found - he was leaving their home to go out with Edwards, those documents revealed.

Federal court documents also outlined how officers were led to a Lawrence residence where Edwards was staying. They found bullets and an empty gun case. A woman told officers she purchased a .22-caliber handgun for Edwards under an altered name at an Ottawa pawn shop. She later went back to the pawn shop and traded the .22 for a .38-caliber pistol. An informant told officers Edwards was seen with a .38. Edwards had been convicted of sale of cocaine and, therefore, wasn't legally allowed to have a gun.

Branson and McGovern declined to discuss a motive for Vital's death.

Musicians in Vital's group couldn't be reached for comment. But Keith Loneker, who knew Vital and also knows Edwards, called the ordeal "a tragedy for the city."

"Both Anthony and Major were known by so many people," Loneker said. "It's just a real bad situation."

If Edwards and Jones are convicted of murder they would face a mandatory life sentence with the possibility of parole after 25 years.

Comments

OldEnuf2BYurDad 6 years, 9 months ago

My guess is that his first morning shower in the penitentary will wipe that smile off Durell's face.

doc1 6 years, 9 months ago

I three for 1 deal for society. Two bad guys and a rapper off the street.

pimp11 6 years, 9 months ago

Maybe he just got out of the shower in the Pen......

Doc--Not all rappers are bad for society. Just about 9 outta 10!!!

local_guy 6 years, 9 months ago

Glad they got them off the street. I just wish the people talking bad about the victim would be next.

kansas778 6 years, 9 months ago

I went to high school with Major. Last time I talked to him (10 years ago) he had become a Muslim and was trying to reform his life. I guess that didn't work out...

Jay_Z 6 years, 9 months ago

Hey Doc, real classy to talk crap on the victim....you are an idiot.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 6 years, 9 months ago

I'm not one to play the bigot card, but how can it be OK to celebrate the death of a man just because he rapped? There are some (really bad) gospel rappers out there. Was he one of those?

Comments like that help me understand how Americans can be so cavalier about waging wars that kill innocents. Where is the love?

hujiko 6 years, 9 months ago

Everyone should stop arguing or quit being quasi-racist and be glad that two murderers are off the street.

WHY 6 years, 9 months ago

Yesterday I appologized for my rude comment. Every one was talking about what a nice guy he was and I felt bad for making a joke. But now I see he was a member of DaBombSquad. They are a bunch of thugs,

Kat Christian 6 years, 9 months ago

Obviously, something wrong with this smiling fellow or he likes it in prision. Keep him. We don't need the likes of them around real people.

KEITHMILES05 6 years, 9 months ago

I'm waiting for the do gooders to come out of the wood work to tell us how wonderful these guys are.

sean63g10 6 years, 9 months ago

Every one of these guys are punks that won't face you unless you are a woman or unless they have a weapon. I grew up with them and they are all thugs who sell drugs and think they are big time. the only real nigga that was envolved was JaJa. We gonna miss you Bro.

shyne_reno 6 years, 9 months ago

When I knew Anthony. He seemed really out of place with the other members of the bombsquad. Anthony didn't seem to try and live the stero typical rap life. Anthony was a quiet person like myself and a loving father. His wife and his kids have been through a lot the past two years, which is really nobody's business. For everybody who has a negative comment to make about Anthony. I just want to take the time to let you know that Anthony was a God fearing man. There were plenty of times we sat down and talk about the meaning of life along with our love for Jesus Christ. Now I know that the bombsquad music didn't even come close to preaching that message, but Anthony was not a negative person. When Anthony did rape and I took the time to listen he seemed out of place with the other members of bombsquad. Anthony lyrics were at times very spiritual and expressed different ideals from the other members of bombsquad lyrics. I too grew up with Major and this comes to no suprise to me that his life came in this direction. It's just a shame that it happen to two people whom I thought were friends at one point. Rest in peace Anthony, I refuse to acknowledge by the name clacc. Major? I'm not in the least bit suprise that your life has came to this direction and that is all I have to say to you. You disappoint me. You will never be a Muslim.

been_there 6 years, 9 months ago

That Edwards bunch is less than worthless, nothing but trouble. Didn't one of them bring a gun to LHS some years back? They are always in trouble. The state should put Major and all of his incarcerated relatives in one prison to save the ones not in jail time and gas when they go to visit them. Major can't say he needs to support his kids, he has them all over town, he has never even tried to support them. He has a long violent history, runs in the family, anybody that knows him is probably not in the least bit suprised.

Bladerunner 6 years, 9 months ago

Edwards eligible for parole at age 53? Too soon if you ask me.

jacklinks 6 years, 9 months ago

To sean63g10:

"the only real nigga that was envolved was JaJa."

... PLEASE! Real nothin' is more like it.

And it's involved, not envolved.

dragon2befree 6 years, 9 months ago

anthony was loved by many he had no children many neices and nephews.know his family can have closure. we love you anthony may you rest in peace

been_there 6 years, 9 months ago

what does that have to do with anything? Don't you have anything better to do than try to start trouble?

been_there 6 years, 9 months ago

Mr_Values When a white person kills a white person, does it have anything to do with race? Also, most serial killers are white males so race must be a factor, don't you agree?

been_there 6 years, 9 months ago

Notice nobody has come on to defend the Edwards clan. What does that tell you? What a bunch of losers.

Motivation 6 years, 9 months ago

You asked for it....here it is. Some of us have employment careers and do not have time to waste watching all of you bash away at others.

The Edwards clan will not respond, because you aren't worth an answer. I lived the majority of my life in good ole L-town. The poster attitudes on here are part of the reason I left.

I was personally close to the Edwards, Turner, Jackson, and many other families in L-town. Psychology will tell you...when an individual is consistently told they are, will be, and have always been nothing...that individual develops several personality issues trying to battle those predisposed thoughts. Everyone on here, with his or her "holier than thou" personas make me sick.

It says, right in the article, this situation has been difficult for everyone invested within this situation. Major's family included. I hope that Anthony a.k.a. CLACC can bless everyone suffering from these circumstances.

Keep in mind...they have only been charged...not convicted. For those who have posted supporting and non-judgemental comments...we thank you. For those who still wish to be spiteful, judgemental and disgusting...you reap what you sew. Violence begetts violence...it is your attitude that brings most of it out in people. Your little minds are so small you cannot handle forgiveness and compassion for the suffering individuals that still have yet to deal with the trial.

Vital family...no doubt...Anthony is looking down and smiling with the old man in the park...he's still speaking the "word" and standing right next to God and lighting your path in life. DO NOT take to heart or pay any attention to these people...the truth is all within, and these spiteful people will learn lessons in their own time.

smitty:

The hand signals mean nothing at all....MidWest. Don't worry...they are not gang signs.

DaBombSquad is still the most successful hip-hop group to come out of this little town that wants so desparately to be BIG. They all have grown as individuals. No matter what any of you think.

Okay, that's all I can say...go ahead...bash away at this...and remember there are blessed people watching.

RIP CLACC...luv4life

Edwards family...my heart goes out to all of you. I am sorry to hear about this situation.

been_there 6 years, 9 months ago

You obviously have never been a victim of the Edwards clan. My relatives and friends have been, why do you think I don't like them. Didn't know them before until we had the misfortune to cross their path. We were normal people just living our lives not doing anything to them. What do you want their victims to do, pat them on the head and say, "there, there, you poor misunderstood people, of course you would hurt others, it's ok do what you want" . You reap what you sow. My feelings are from personal experience not what I have read. I have earned the right to bash them.

Motivation 6 years, 9 months ago

I'm sorry to hear about your misfortune. I don't expect everyone to understand. However, victim is a commonly used word for excuse. If you and your family were totally innocent, then fine. However, you are stating this against the entire family and I doubt every person with the last name of Edwards was involved. Several of people with the last name of Edwards are good citizens. Please watch how you classify/profile people. That's all I'm saying.

I never allowed myself to have the "victim" rule. I have always taken consequences for my actions. I believe every bad situation has the potential to teach something and I have done my best to learn every time.

NateEdwards_09 6 years, 9 months ago

everyone that has got on here and said anything about my brothers are losers i am one of the edwards my damn self n non of yall got the right to be talkin down on my family

NateEdwards_09 6 years, 9 months ago

We aint the Edwards Clan We the Edwards Boyz so get it right, all of yall that are complaining about us prolly got beat up or got your heart broken by one of us Edwards boyz.

Buggie7 6 years, 9 months ago

I would like to say that im sorry for the families loss. It doesnt matter who you are or where you come from if you are family its a huge loss and i am sorry for that. I just would like to know why the press conferences werent called for other murders that have happened in Lawrence. Like Jerry Deshazer or the chick that ran the worker over on 59. It seems like unless you have some unique name or the LPD has definate evidence on you (not saying that is the case here) or a rapper name you really dont see a press conference. Im not downplaying the loss at all but there are so may things that LJWorld gets wrong that its amazing that anyone in this town ever knows the real truth. Again Im so sorry for your loss and hope that the ones or one that is responsible pay for their crime.

daddax98 6 years, 9 months ago

"We aint the Edwards Clan We the Edwards Boyz so get it right, all of yall that are complaining about us prolly got beat up or got your heart broken by one of us Edwards boyz"

sigh

NateEdwards_09 6 years, 8 months ago

FOR ALL OF YOU PEOPLE THAT THINK YOU KNOW ME AND YOU THINK YOU ARE TALKIN TO SOMEONE YOU KNOW....YOU DONT KNOW ME ?I AM THE LAST EDWARDS BOY AND I DONT HAVE A RECORD. THE EDWARDS THAT YOU ARE TALKIN BOUT ARE MY BROS BUT YOU CANT JUDGE THEM BY THEIR PAST.LIKE I SAID FOR ALL OF YOU HATERS THE EDWARDS FAMILY WILL ALWAYS BE STRONGER AND MORE VALUABLE THEN ALL OF YOU OTHER CRITICIZERS

somebodynew 6 years, 8 months ago

Nate- OK, your first post goes to the heart of the "complainers". If the best thing you can say about the Edwards boys (yes I CAN spell) is that they beat up people and broke hearts, do you wonder why people complain.??? I don't claim to know you, but I do kown some of your "boyz" and had seen what they are capable of. Why is it the main thing you are proud of is that they beat people up?? I guess EVERYONE deserved it, huh?? I am just amazed that several of them have managed to get away with so much for so long. I agree with the "complainers", and am quite sure I will be reading about you in the Crime and Courts Section soon with that attitude.Feel free to e-mail me if you take offense.

freehim 6 years, 8 months ago

Im a edwards also and what nate said i dont go by. That whole edwards boyz thing or whatever im a edwards and thats it no boy no anything a edwards im proud of my last name and glad i have it. Lots of them have made big and huge mistakes im sorry you cant take back what always happens. i just wish you dont throw all of us in the same way saying have are own prison and what not cause i know i wont be there many of you may know me and know im a lot different from what the other few people are that have done some wrong things. But please just dont say were all bad people

pagan_idolator 6 years, 8 months ago

I agree with freehim. I don't know all the Edwards just two of them - Major Sr. and James. Both as mellow as jello, sweet and polite. Never have I seen them cause a problem or be without a smile. You can't judge an entire family by the actions of some of them. I feel for all families involved. Three young lives wasted.

NateEdwards_09 6 years, 8 months ago

Look People get locked up for doing crime, My cousin Major is locked up for what he did and he deserves it, but you dont have to talk about us like you know us. Im a good person but I cant stand when people get online and like to talk about people, that isnt cool. You criticizers cant blame my whole family for what other reletives did, thats all I'm saying and you cant look at me like im a bad person either.If you are an Edwards you know me and what I do, just dont talk about my people like that. Im going to make something of myself and not end up locked up just like Major Jr............................................

NateEdwards_09 6 years, 8 months ago

pagan_idolator I can feel what you are saying thats what i am Trying to say James is my dad and he is a good person and all of my family and these people on here are just trying to talk about my family like we are bad people.

pagan_idolator 6 years, 8 months ago

I think if these people were to ever meet James or Major Sr. they would like them very much. I never met Major Jr , or if I did he would have been very young, so can't comment.

NateEdwards_09 6 years, 8 months ago

Major jr was trying to get his life together because i played for the team he coached and half way down the year he wasnt coaching anymore so that is when he became alot more crazy in the streets. If it wasnt for the drugs and liquor Major jr. would of been a guy in no trouble. He jus took after all of the other Edward's that were getting in trouble, they would be with eachother everyday getting into too much when they were too young to start their life off on a bad note.But what they have done in the past really isnt how they are. They are nice people, you would just have to be around these guys to see how they are. What you all are saying about the Edwards isnt right and you can say what you want but those that are close to them really know how it is.

freehim 6 years, 8 months ago

nate i played for the same team this is your cousin and i know how you feel dude thats my uncle and your cousin and lots of them have got in trouble which is bad but i aint going to stop loving them and i would just like to say major hasnt been charged for the murder and if he is then feel free to say what you want but for now dont please but even if he does you wont change a thing in my hurt

NateEdwards_09 6 years, 8 months ago

its ok i love my family to, im not blaming them for anything but i just wish they hadn't of done what they done.In my heart i know they are good people and that is all that matters. Every brother or cousin that i have that is locked behind bars i would like for them to be freed. I havent seen my brother jerome since i was 2 or 3 and i just talked to him for the first time yesterday, how do you think i feel.It will be ok though just keep ya head up and stay strong for the Fam.

been_there 6 years, 7 months ago

Both as mellow as jello, sweet and polite. Hmm, I know Major Sr. and that's not the side I have seen.

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