Teen Charged in Murder of Popular Limousine Operator

Posted on June 6, 2007 by LCT Staff - Also by this author - About the author

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Darryl Rouson wanted to see the face of the man police say walked up and fatally shot his longtime friend early Sunday. The former head of the St. Petersburg NAACP was among those who gathered outside the St. Petersburg Police Department on Thursday as an 18-year-old Clearwater man was led to a van that would take him to the Pinellas County Jail.

Marcus Allen Oliver is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Kurt Anthony Bryant, 35, a popular limousine company owner. "I wanted to see the face of somebody who had lost hope, that lost such respect for life, that he would pull a gun and take a life," said Rouson, a lawyer who has known Bryant and his wife, Cynthia, for years.

Bryant was shot after getting out of his limousine early Sunday to help passengers step out near the 1000 block of 13th Avenue South. He was taken to Bayfront Medical Center and later was pronounced dead.

Robbery appears to have been the motive, said Sgt. Mike Kovacsev, who heads the police department's homicide squad. He said Oliver, who did not know Bryant, was identified after police interviewed witnesses. No weapon was recovered.

"There are a few other people we need to track down," Kovacsev said. "It's important to give the family closure on exactly what happened."

Family members said Bryant owned a small limousine company with three vehicles and was getting ready to buy a fourth. On Saturday night, he was just relaxing, having fun with friends.

"He goes out to enjoy the fruits of his labor is what he was doing," Rouson said. "Here he is always making other people feel good and renting limos to them, and every now and then he decides to go ride in his own product so he can enjoy it himself, and this happens."

Source: The Tampa Tribune

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