Witness Gunned Down Before Trial - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Witness Gunned Down Before Trial

By Frances Kuo

(LOUISVILLE) -- Louisville Metro Police are investigating whether a 21-year-old Louisville man was killed because he testified against a fellow gang member. He was also scheduled to testify against another gang member in August. WAVE 3's Frances Kuo reports.

Marcus Stallard, a former member of the Victory Park Crips, was shot multiple times at the Parkway Place public housing complex in the 1700 block of Patton Court around 6 p.m. Tuesday, not long after he testified against a gang member in a drive-by shooting five years ago.

Kenneth Parker, another member of the Victory Park Crips, is charged with killing LaKnogony McCurley in a drive-by shooting in July of 2000 outside Jewish Hospital.

Stallard, 21, had pleaded guilty to facilitating murder and had agreed to testify against Parker and other gang members.

In January, Stallard's brother, DeShawn ("DShot Parker), was convicted of two counts of criminal attempt to commit murder, assault and tampering with physical evidence for McCurley's murder in July 2000. Stallard testified in that trial.

Commonwealth's Attorney Dave Stengel was angered but not surprised when he heard of the murder.

"This is a very volatile group of people that we're dealing with," Stengel said. "And because of that, anything can happen at any time. We've lost a very important witness -- not the only witness, but a very important one."

Stallard was also expected to testify in August against another gang member in the same murder, Parker's brother, Kenneth.

"Anytime you're dealing with gangs, they're volatile, they're dangerous," Stengel said. "They combine youth, guns and drugs and that's a pretty dangerous mix," Stengel said.

Stengel says it's typical for witnesses to be reluctant to come forward, especially in gang-related crimes. "We point out to them, it's either do something about these people or live with them, so it's sort of a devil's alternative for the witnesses."

The Commonwealth's Attorney's Office can offer witness protection or move them out of town for a period of time.

Stengel admits Stallard's death makes it even more difficult to bring defendants to justice.

"The biggest effect it's going to have on us is a chilling effect for other people coming forward, being afraid of this happening to them," said Stengel.

Stengel says he will try to get Stallard's written testimony submitted in Kenneth Parker's trial.
Stallard had the option of being in the Witness Protection program but never made that request.

If you think you have information related to Stallard's murder, you're asked to call Louisville Metro Police at 574-LMPD (574-5673). Callers can remain anonymous.

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Online Reporter: Frances Kuo

Online Producer: Michael Dever