Anderson and attorney upset about killer's claims

Published: Aug. 24, 2011 at 3:57 AM EDT|Updated: Aug. 24, 2011 at 4:30 AM EDT
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Derek Anderson (Source; WAVE 3 Archives)
Derek Anderson (Source; WAVE 3 Archives)
Francois Cunningham
Francois Cunningham
Scott Cox.
Scott Cox.

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The attorney for former University of Kentucky and NBA star Derek Anderson says his client's reputation is being tarnished by a psychopath.

WAVE 3 News first told you Monday about the drug money allegations confessed murder Francois Cunningham made about Anderson that became public when evidence was released in the Ricky Kelly murder case.

Cunningham, an admitted killer and drug runner, made a deal with prosecutors for his release. He maintained Anderson was the money behind a major drug operation, something Anderson's attorney Scott Cox calls ridiculous.

"He's just astonished by it," Cox said of Anderson's reaction to Cunningham's statements to Louisville Metro Police. "He (Cunningham) doesn't know Derek Anderson and Derek Anderson doesn't know him."

In interviews with Louisville Metro Police Detective Denny Butler, Cunningham talks drugs and murders - all part of the organized crime ring associated with Kelly, a former suspect in eight murders in state court who is now charged in federal court with one count of murder in aid of racketeering.

While naming names, Cunningham claimed Anderson bankrolled the drug operation Kelly worked for and said it was run by Anderson's friend, Reggie Rice.

Cunningham: "Derek is really the, he was the money, he's the money guy. Reggie's got money now but, he's the money guy and like, as far as like when he was in San Antonio, I know that there was, you know, he had turned him onto, you know some Mexicans down there."

Cunningham said Anderson used his legitimate businesses to hide drug money.

Cox says he has no idea why anyone would believe Cunningham, a man who was facing the death penalty when he made the statements.

"He (Cunningham) tortured a man to death and he burned two people alive by throwing a Molotov cocktail in a car they were in," said Cox.

According to Cox, Cunningham paid another inmate in prison to come forward and falsely claim that he had committed a murder.

So why would Cunningham throw Anderson's name in the mix at all? Cox said Cunningham knew Anderson's fame would peak the interest of investigators.

"Unfortunately," said Cox, "He was able to say it because Mr. Anderson is friends with a lot of people in this community."

That includes friends who have gotten into trouble with the law. Friends like Eric Wise and Clinton Archie. WAVE 3 uncovered a court document showing Wise and Archie were pulled over in July 2010 with $4,000 in cash and a bottle of codeine. They were driving Anderson's SUV and had his gun.

"Mr. Anderson had lent Mr. Wise his car," Cox explained. "He was helping move Mr. Anderson's mother from one home to another home and he was pulled over in Mr. Anderson's car, that's it."

Cox said Anderson has a concealed deadly weapons permit for the gun in his car. He also said anyone who knows Anderson knows he loves cars. Cox said Anderson buys them for family and lets his friends drive them. According to Cox, the only thing Anderson is guilty of is being loyal to his friends and giving back to the community.

Neither Anderson nor Rice has been charged in this investigation.

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