Video: "Simm Ryder" busted for killing hip-hop bodyguard Kurt Levias at Bluebird Theater
It's one of the most shocking crimes in the Denver music community over the past decade -- the slaying of 21-year-old Kurt Levias during a melee outside a Bluebird Theater hip-hop show in 2004.
Now, finally, an arrest has been made in the case: George Allen IV, who reportedly went under the nom de plume "Simm Ryder" -- and who's been suspected of having committed the crime for years -- has been busted and is being extradited to Colorado.
Photos, video and details below.
The facts of the case as presented by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation are simple: On August 4, 2004, police responded to a report of a fight outside the Bluebird. Upon their arrival, they discovered a man later identified as Levias had been shot -- and he died of his injuries a short time later. Later investigation revealed that Levias had been involved in an argument with a man that had spilled outside the venue -- but that individual remained at large.
A photo of Kurt Levias from a tribute video on view below.
Of course, there's much more to the story, which was told on a 2010 episode of America's Most Wanted that provided some important tips, according to the Denver District Attorney's Office. (Unfortunately, the segment is no longer online.) But that program was likely inspired by a 2009 Denver Post piece that dug into the events of that fatal evening.
The show in question was part of the "Starterz in tha Game Tour," and among the featured artists was Twyla Rivers, who performed under the name Lady MEnace. She also happened to be cousins with Levias, who acted as her bodyguard.
One was needed. The paper reports that while Rivers was onstage, several women began taunting her sixteen-year-old sister, Paris Landrum. Two older sisters quickly came to Landrum's defense, prompting a fistfight involving bodyguards from different groups on the bill. At that point, Levias, who'd been on the stage keeping an eye out for Rivers, jumped into the fray, too.
The battle continued outside the theater, with one observer suggesting that it lasted 45 minutes. But even after it ended, the aggression continued, with a man later identified as "Simm Ryder," striking one of Landrum's sisters. In response, Levias reportedly hit Ryder.
Another screen capture from the video shows a tribute to Levias at the Bluebird.
A moment later, Levias was on the ground -- at which point Ryder shot him six times from point-blank range.
An indication of the esteem in which Levias was held: More than 1,000 people attended his funeral. However, Ryder remained at large...until this month.
By then, the Denver DA's office notes that clues had started to accumulate, with the San Diego office of Homeland Security Investigations developing new information last year. DNA evidence, likely provided by Ryder's shirt, which he's said to have ditched at the scene, ultimately led authorities to conclude that the alleged perpetrator was actually Allen.
A charge was issued in Allen's name earlier this month, but he remained at large until being taken into custody in Las Vegas this past week. He's expected to be extradited to the Denver area to face the charges against him soon.
In the meantime, the Post quotes Levias's mom as saying Allen has confessed to the crime.
Here's a tribute video to Levias posted in 2012.
Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.
More from our Colorado Crimes archive circa July 2013: "Francisco Carbajal busted in cold-case strangulation of Julia Abarca."
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