Los Angeles, US, Nov 2 (EFE) – Duane Keith Davis, accused of being one of the masterminds behind the shooting that killed rapper Tupac Shakur 27 years ago, pleaded not guilty on Thursday to the charge of murder with a deadly weapon he faces in a Clark County court (Nevada).
“Keefe D” Davis, as the former leader of the South Side Compton Crips street gang calls himself, confirmed in his memoirs years ago that he was the co-pilot in the white Cadillac that fired the bullets that hit Shakur.
He is also serving a 28-year sentence for the 2015 death of a Compton (Los Angeles) businessman.
The appearance of Davis, who is represented by public defenders, had been delayed for weeks because he did not have access to private legal representation.
However, as he announced Thursday, he is trying to hire Ross Goodman, a high-profile defense attorney whose father is a former mayor of Las Vegas, to defend him.
Two weeks ago, Goodman himself said the prosecution lacked key witnesses and evidence to implicate Davis in the 27-year-old murder.
The prosecution’s case is limited to the defendant’s recollections and interviews during that time, in which he revealed that he had obtained a .40-caliber pistol, which he gave to Anderson, another member of the organization who was in the back seat of the Cadillac and who he claims was the shooter.
During the trial, it was said that the September 7, 1996, shooting in Las Vegas was payback for an earlier altercation at a casino between Shakur and Davis’ nephew, Orlando “Baby Lane” Anderson.
Anderson, then 22, denied involvement in Shakur’s 1996 murder, but died two years later in another shooting in Compton. The rest of the passengers also died.
“Keefe D” was arrested on September 29 outside a home in suburban Henderson (Las Vegas), where police had served a search warrant on July 17, bringing renewed attention to one of the most high-profile murders in history.
Tupac Shakur died in a Las Vegas hospital on September 13, 1996, six days after being shot four times while riding in a car with his friend and Death Row label founder Marion “Suge” Knight, who has refused to testify at Davis’ trial.
Despite his death at the age of 25, Tupac is considered one of the most influential rappers of all time.
He was nominated for six Grammy Awards, was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2017 and received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame this year. EFE gac/mcd/ics