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Rapper, Whose Murder Sparked Bloody Denver Gang War, Should Have Been In Prison

May 15, 2015  |  Posted by: JammedUp Staff
Rapper, Whose Murder Sparked Bloody Denver Gang War,  Should Have Been In Prison

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A Denver rapper who’s death sparked a bloody gang war should have been in jail instead of walking the streets, accoridng to law enforcement officals.

Kevie “KL Tha General” Durham had two arrest warrants for his arrest one for armed robbery in North Carolina, the other for escaping from Colorado halfway house at the time of his shooting.

Denver Police Chief Robert White recently admitted that Durham’s murder sparked a war involving four street gangs, which resulted in the deaths of a dozen gang members around the Denver area.

Durham was shot and killed on Nov. 23, 2014 outside a Denver nightclub, frequented by members of the Crips and Bloods, located just across from Sports Authority Field at Mile High.

According to the Denver Post, The 24-year-old’s murder incited anger amongst street gang members. Failures by Law enforcement agencies in both states allowed Durham’s release from Sterling Correctional Facility to a halfway house, where he escaped and pursued his budding career as a rapper.

Law enforcement officials now admit that after serving jail time for a drug conviction in Arapahoe County, Colorado, he should have been transferred to North Carolina for armed robbery charges. Instead, he was released to a halfway house.

Despite the fact, Durham performed at nightclubs around the Denver area, which was promoted and advertised on social media. The state’s Fugitive Apprehension Unit still failed to track him down.

Durham’s raps lyrics made references to living the gangster life, touting himself as a member of Eastside Crips, his songs often taunted rival gangs, threatened to gun down his enemies, and snitches.

Durham’s criminal record dates back to the age of 15, which includes juvenile convictions of criminal mischief, burglary, assault and menacing with a weapon, according to court records. In 2008, at the age of 17, Durham moved to Salisbury, N.C. to live with his mother.

Later that year, a North Carolina man accused Durham of robbing him at gunpoint. He then fled to Colorado before Police could get a warrant for his arrest on charges of armed robbery.

Colorado Police discovered the arrest warrant in North Carolina after charging Durham for possession of methamphetamine, according to court records.

The Arapahoe County district attorney’s office filed his case for the charges in North Carolina separately to ensure his extradition. Public defender Claire Soto filed a May 29, 2012, motion seeking to reduce Durham’s four-year sentence, which the judge denied.

Durham spent the rest of his prison sentence working on his rap songs and cutting prisoners’ hair. On October of 2012, Durham was transferred to the a halfway house — in Henderson, Colorado and escaped a month later. Police issued a warrant for his arrest in January 2013.

Department of Corrections spokeswoman Adrienne Jacobson said the halfway house and a community corrections committee decided that Durham qualified for a transfer to the halfway house.

“Arapahoe County District Court documents listed details regarding Durham’s prison sentence in Colorado but never mentioned the charges pending in North Carolina,” Jacobson said.

The Denver Post attempted to contact Rowan County, N.C., District Attorney Brandy Cook for an explanation as to why authorities failed to extract Durham back to North Carolina. However, Cook denied requests for an interview, but a clerk did reveal that the robbery warrant remains on file and is still active.

Jacobson said Durham’s records didn’t have him listed as a gang member at the time of his release to the halfway house. “The State’s Parole Fugitive Apprehension Unit did make repeated attempts to locate Durham and acted on tips received regarding his scheduled rap performances were usually acted on a day late,” she said.

“To say that one factor that may have prevented Mr. Durham from being in the bar that night (he was killed) is impossible,” Jacobson said.

A coroner’s autopsy results showed that Durham had methamphetamine in his system on the night of his shooting. He also had abrasions on his arms and hands, indicating he had been in a physical altercation.

According to the autopsy report, Durham had bullets pierce his left lung, heart, abdomen, and his right knee.

With the number of unsolved gang-related homicides in the Denver area mounting, Denver Police and relatives of victims made a public plea on Wednesday for witnesses to come forward. Police have attributed 12 deaths so far this year, well above the city’s annual average.

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