By KEN RITTER | Related Press
LAS VEGAS — A former Southern California road gang chief pleaded not responsible Thursday to orchestrating a drive-by taking pictures that killed Tupac Shakur in 1996 in Las Vegas.
Duane Keith “Keffe D” Davis, the one individual nonetheless alive who was within the automobile from which pictures had been fired and the one individual ever charged with against the law within the case, stood in shackles earlier than Clark County District Decide Tierra Jones.
Particular public defenders Robert Arroyo and Charles Cano represented Davis in court docket Thursday. Davis misplaced his bid to rent protection legal professional, Ross Goodman. Two weeks in the past, Goodman had stated prosecutors lack witnesses and key proof, together with a gun or automobile, for the killing dedicated 27 years in the past.
Earlier than coming into his plea Thursday, Davis stood in dark-blue jail garb and answered a brief sequence of questions, telling the choose that he attended “a 12 months in school,” was not beneath the affect of any medication, medicine or alcohol, and that he understood he has been charged with homicide.
Davis, 60, is initially from Compton, California. He was arrested Sept. 29 outdoors a house in suburban Henderson the place Las Vegas police served a search warrant July 17, drawing renewed consideration to certainly one of hip-hop music’s most enduring mysteries. Davis stays jailed with out bail, didn’t testify earlier than the grand jury that indicted him, and declined from jail to talk with The Related Press.
The indictment alleges Davis obtained and offered a gun to somebody within the again seat of a Cadillac earlier than the car-to-car gunfire that mortally wounded Shakur and wounded rap music mogul Marion “Suge” Knight at an intersection simply off the Las Vegas Strip. Shakur died every week later. He was 25.
Knight, now 58, is in jail in California, serving a 28-year sentence for the loss of life of a Compton businessman in 2015. He has not responded to messages by his attorneys looking for remark about Davis’ arrest.
Prosecutors allege that Shakur’s killing in Las Vegas got here out of competitors between East Coast members of a Bloods gang sect and West Coast teams of a Crips sect, together with Davis, for dominance in a musical style dubbed “gangsta rap.”
The grand jury was informed the Sept. 7, 1996 taking pictures in Las Vegas was retaliation for a brawl hours earlier at a Las Vegas Strip on line casino involving Shakur and Davis’ nephew, Orlando “Child Lane” Anderson.
Prosecutors informed a grand jury that Davis implicated himself within the killing in a number of interviews and a 2019 tell-all memoir that described his life main a Crips sect in Compton. Davis has stated he obtained a .40-caliber handgun and handed it to Anderson, a member of Davis’ gang, within the again seat of a Cadillac, although he didn’t determine Anderson because the shooter.
Anderson, then 22, denied involvement in Shakur’s killing and died two years later in a taking pictures in his hometown of Compton. The opposite again seat passenger and the driving force of the Cadillac are additionally useless.
In his e book, Davis wrote that he informed authorities in 2010 what he knew of the killings of Shakur and gang rival Infamous B.I.G, whose authorized identify is Christopher Wallace, to guard himself and 48 of his Southside Compton Crips gang associates from prosecution and the potential of life sentences in jail.
Wallace, also called Biggie Smalls, was shot and killed in Los Angeles in March 1997, six months after Shakur’s loss of life.
Shakur is basically thought of probably the most influential and versatile rappers of all time. He had 5 No. 1 albums, was nominated for six Grammy Awards, was inducted into the Rock & Roll Corridor of Fame in 2017, and acquired a posthumous star this 12 months on the Hollywood Stroll of Fame.
Related Press author Rio Yamat contributed from Las Vegas.