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Archive for Friday, March 19, 2010

Lawrence man pleads guilty in 2006 shooting death of hip-hop artist

Major Edwards entered a guilty plea to manslaughter charges in connection with a three-year-old murder case. The case involves the shooting death of a Lawrence hip-hop artist.

March 19, 2010

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A Lawrence man has pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter for his role in the 2006 shooting death of hip-hop artist Anthony Vital.

Major C. Edwards Jr., 30, entered the plea Friday morning in Douglas County District Court. Edwards was scheduled to go to trial in May on a first-degree murder charge. Co-defendant Durrell A. Jones, 24, of Kansas City, Kan., still faces a first-degree murder trial in May in the case.

During a 2008 preliminary hearing for both men, prosecutors presented several witnesses whose testimony tied the defendants to a handgun used to kill Vital, 28.

Vital’s body was found in October 2006 west of Lawrence, and family members said Vital was with Edwards the night before his body was found.

Two jailmates had testified that Edwards confessed the murder to them while he was in federal custody in another case. Weeks after Vital’s body was found, authorities arrested Edwards on a federal warrant for weapons charges in Mississippi.

He pleaded guilty in federal court in 2008 to possessing a sawed-off shotgun. After that case was complete, Douglas County prosecutors filed charges for Vital’s murder against the two men.

Prosecutors said little about the plea on Friday, except to commend Douglas County Sheriff’s detectives for their work in the investigation.

“The case has been considered ongoing since 2006 and remains ongoing,” Douglas County District Attorney Charles Branson said in a statement.

Amy McGowan, a chief assistant district attorney, said she could not comment when asked if Edwards could be called as a witness during Jones’ trial.

Chief District Judge Robert Fairchild will sentence Edwards April 20. According to Branson’s office, Edwards faces 18 years in prison.

Comments

Bladerunner 4 years, 5 months ago

18 years? I hope he does every day of it. What a POS. Never worked a day in his life.

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Moderateguy 4 years, 5 months ago

Plea Bargain Branson strikes again. Would a competent DA please step up against this guy in the next election?

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bearded_gnome 4 years, 5 months ago

what bladerunner said!

18-years, so actually he'll be out in 12?
let's find some more charges for him!

complete sludge.

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puddleglum 4 years, 5 months ago

major was always a nice guy... wonder what happened?

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somebodynew 4 years, 5 months ago

@Bladerunner - Amen.
@Moderateguy - while I somewhat agree with you in an overall scenerio, keep in mind that there are 2 defendants in this case, so that may be a "method to the madness" at least in this case. @puddleglum - I am not sure who you are talking about. Now, I got along with Major (surprizing as that will be to some) but not sure he was ever a "nice guy". And what happened was dope, as it always was with him. Smoking wets does strange things to people.

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somebodynew 4 years, 5 months ago

Amen PBG, but I think this one is worse.

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Steve Jacob 4 years, 5 months ago

Who pulled the trigger, Edwards or Jones? The plea deal usually goes to the non-shooter, well I hope it does.

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somebodynew 4 years, 5 months ago

srj - sadly, that question will never be definately answered as the only person who can really tell can't talk. But, I am putting my money on the other guy as shooter. I know all too well Major's history, but the other is more evil (if you can imagine that).

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kewlb 4 years, 5 months ago

well i knew anthony on a personal basis,his freinds called him "clack",and he was the nicest dude ever,soft spoken,shy and would help out anybuddy,so for somebuddy to do something like that to him,should get the same thing,or worse.

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kewlb 4 years, 5 months ago

well i knew anthony on a personal basis,his freinds called him "clack",and he was the nicest dude ever,soft spoken,shy and would help out anybuddy,so for somebuddy to do something like that to him,should get the same thing,or worse.

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AS 4 years, 5 months ago

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Alexander Neighbors 4 years, 5 months ago

Edwards you were supposed to use your words as weapons, and not your weapons as words........

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Paula Kissinger 4 years, 5 months ago

Thank you, AS (perhaps missing a second S)... Some of us are just making the inference to the old sayings like "the apple doesn't fall too far from the tree" and such. Some of us, perhaps, have not had the "pleasure" of actually meeting the Jr. Mr. Edwards but have far too much experience dealing with the Sr. version. Some of us have too much knowledge of the activities and personalities of said Sr., and, comment accordingly based upon the fact that most of the children of like individuals follow in their footsteps.

Most likely the plea deal he made will suffice to ensure incarceration for at least an actual 6-7 years, which is rare today. To those who do not like the plea deals I would say that I am not a fan myself, but with the judicial system in it's current state it is better than having a costly trial with an "iffy" outcome and the knowledge that both of these involved individuals will remain off our streets for a few years is somewhat comforting.

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grammaddy 4 years, 5 months ago

As-(definitely missing the other s) Not all of us who knew him are crack heads. I knew him because he went to school with my older kids. Major has had some serious issues all his life, probably owing to Sr. I also knew Anthony's wife well. Her mother was one of my best friends. I'm glad they are finally getting some closure. Having watched both fellas grow up, I find it all quite sad.

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workinghard 4 years, 5 months ago

Major Jr and his cousins beat my kid up in high school because they "thought" he did something to their vehicle, which he hadn't. Hell, he didn't even know them. Knew one of his ex-girlfriends that he would beat up on long after he left her for other women. Hell his own father and step-mother wouldn't allow him at their house. He is right where he belongs.

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lawthing 4 years, 5 months ago

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

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somebodynew 4 years, 5 months ago

Well lawthing if that were truely the situation then we wouldn't have to worry about feeding and sheltering Major for the next 18 years. Not that that would be a bad thing.

And to AS(s) some of us are old enough to have dealt with Sr. and Jr., and didn't like most of the interactions with either.

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jesscasey 4 years, 5 months ago

I used to hang out with the same group of friends as Clack - I am really happy I got to experience his talent first hand (the beginning of Bomb Squad) and witness what a great, warm, and genuine person he was. I am sad his family is not able to still see that today!

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maddhatta 4 years, 5 months ago

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somebodynew 4 years, 5 months ago

maddhatta- that is an interesting take. Not saying it isn't true but that is one theory I have not heard yet. Send me a message thru here, and we will talk. I would like to know more.

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Bladerunner 4 years, 5 months ago

Madhatta's angle is new to me too. Bad visual...Ewwwwwww. Could be why he took the deal instead of taking his chances. Eprisonharmony.com lol.

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inbetweentowns 4 years, 5 months ago

also knowing Clacks wifes family all my life, i'm so glad they get some closure. Clack was shy and rarely spoke unless spoken too, the talent he had in his body out weighs the talent any of the Edwards boys (jr or sr) could ever imagine. what a shame it wasn't one of them.

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kscityrobber 4 years, 5 months ago

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Tbaby09 4 years, 5 months ago

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grammaddy 4 years, 5 months ago

Nobody said they were gay or leading double lives just on the "down-low". I'd call that bi-curious. I have also heard that rumor about not only them, but most of the crew they ran with. If you didn't know, now you know.

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Tbaby09 4 years, 4 months ago

Well I am a "crew" member if thats what your calling it. And no I have known them my whole life almost and never seen or heard anything of the sort, well until now...when they are gone either to jail or passed on. I just think it is sad that some people would speak on a man who is no longer with us.

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BWhite808 4 years, 5 months ago

I think it's really !@#$## up that people can get on here and spread gossip like they're really in the loop. Whatever the case may be, if you're gossiping and really don't know what you're talking about, be careful.... It's tragic what happened to these young men. Clack didn't deserve to die because he was a decent human who was simply lost. Major was lost as well. Major Sr. tried to raise his family. He is a tax paying working man who couldn't keep his children from being sucked in to the street life of gangs and drugs. Your kids will face the same challenges as it's part of our society. So for those judging, I hope that you can keep your kids focused on the right things. I struggle with this on a daily, no one wants a life of crime for their family. We can all speculate, but the truth is, we don't know what really happened and what the real motivation was. If there was real evidence our DA would have certainly not offered the plea bargain. For all we know he will be serving 18 years for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

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Tbaby09 4 years, 4 months ago

All I can say is...............AMEN!

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maddhatta 4 years, 5 months ago

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cletus26 4 years, 5 months ago

PBG, WILL YOU PLEASE TELL ME WHAT CRIME HIS FATHER COMMITTED BECAUSE I SURE WOULD LIKE TO KNOW? IT AIN'T NO FATHER LIKE SON THING GOING ON. I'VE BEEN KNOWING THE FAMILY SINCE I WAS A LITTLE LAD AND DON'T KNOW OF HIS FATHER OR MOTHER COMMITTING ANY CRIMES ON ANY LEVEL, ESPECIALLY ON THIS LEVEL. Y'ALL TALK WHAT YOU KNOW AND BE SURE YOU KNOW WHAT YOU TALK. IT'S A SHAME THAT HE CHOSE THE LIFESTYLE THAT HE CHOSE, BECAUSE HE WAS RAISED BETTER THAN WHAT HE CHOSE. THERE IS A CONSEQUENCE FOR EVERY ACTION AND THIS IS THE ONE FOR THIS PARTICULAR ACTION.

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Deja Coffin 4 years, 4 months ago

(shaking her head) Goodness. That's all I can say.

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Adam mallamo 4 years ago

i knew major in jail and he cool as all getout

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