Duane “Keffe D” Davis has pleaded not guilty to the 1996 murder of Tupac Shakur.
On September 29, Davis was charged with involvement in the rapper’s murder. He faces a charge of open murder with use of a deadly weapon with a gang enhancement.
The BBC reports that he entered his plea during a court appearance in Las Vegas, and a lawyer has been appointed to represent him.
Shakur died at the age of 25 on September 13, 1996, several days after he was shot on September 7. The identity of his killer has remained a mystery for nearly three decades.
The rapper was targeted in Las Vegas as he was leaving the Mike Tyson-Bruce Seldon fight at the MGM Grand and was en route to a nightclub with Death Row Records co-founder Suge Knight.
A white Cadillac pulled up next to the pair’s vehicle on the passenger side and an unidentified gunman fired 14 shots. Shakur was hit four times, later dying from his injuries.
Davis is a former member of the gang Compton Crips. He is the uncle of the late Orlando “Baby Lane” Anderson, who had previously been identified as a suspect in Shakur’s murder but was never charged with any crimes. Anderson was killed in a shooting in 1998.
During a news conference after Davis’ arrest in September, Las Vegas police showed hotel security footage from the night of the shooting, in which several men are seen kicking and punching a man that police identified as Anderson. Police said they believe this ultimately led to the shooting of Shakur as retaliation.
Davis has been known to investigators for some time and has admitted both in interviews and his 2019 memoir Compton Street Legend that he was in the Cadillac from which the shots were fired 27 years ago. He has also said he is one of the last living witnesses to the shooting.
In July, Las Vegas police raided the home of Davis’ wife. Documents said that they were looking for items “concerning the murder of Tupac Shakur” and police later reported collecting multiple computers, a cellphone and hard drive, a Vibe magazine that featured Shakur, several .40-caliber bullets, two “tubs containing photographs” and a copy of Compton Street Legend.
Las Vegas Chief Deputy District Attorney Marc DiGiacomo described Davis as the “on-ground, on-site commander” who “ordered the death” of Shakur.
“It has often been said that justice delayed is justice denied,” District Attorney Steve Wolfson added. “In this case, justice has been delayed, but justice won’t be denied.”
Last month, Suge Knight told TMZ: “I never thought Keefe D would get arrested,” he said. “Nor do I want to see him get arrested.”
When asked if he’d testify in any eventual trial, Knight said that he believed he wouldn’t be called to do so.
“I wouldn’t be on the stand to testify for somebody, for what?” he said. “One thousand per cent. I wouldn’t go. I wouldn’t testify. None of that shit.”
The post Tupac murder suspect Duane Davis pleads not guilty appeared first on NME.