December 11, 2023

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.

Rapper Tupac Shakur attends a voter registration occasion in South Central Los Angeles, Aug. 15, 1996. Duane “Keffe D” Davis charged with killing Tupac Shakur in 1996 may have a lawyer from certainly one of Las Vegas’ best-known political households with him when he seems in court docket Thursday, Oct. 19, 2023, on a homicide cost. Ross Goodman stated Wednesday, Oct. 18, he’ll seem with Davis however will search two extra weeks to substantiate as his legal professional. (AP Picture/Frank Wiese, File) 

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.”