Tupac Murder Suspect Enters Not Guilty Plea, Escapes Death Penalty

Posted on: November 2, 2023, 07:38h. 

Last updated on: November 2, 2023, 07:38h.

Duane “Keffe D” Davis, the self-proclaimed gang leader accused in the murder of rapper Tupac Shakur, received positive news during his recent arraignment in a Las Vegas courtroom.

The state has decided not to pursue the death penalty for Davis’ alleged involvement in the murder of Tupac Shakur.

Duane “Keffe D” Davis in court on Thursday. (Image: Getty)

The state alleges that Davis, 60, orchestrated the drive-by shooting that took the life of the 25-year-old rap superstar on September 7, 1996. Davis was apprehended at his residence in Las Vegas on September 29 following a grand jury indictment for murder with the use of a deadly weapon, which could have resulted in the death penalty.

Wearing a dark blue prison uniform and restraints, Davis pleaded not guilty before District Judge Tierra Jones. His case has now been assigned to special public defenders Robert Arroyo and Charles Cano. Davis was unable to reach a financial agreement with his previous defense attorney, Ross Goodman, prior to his arraignment.

Why Did It Take So Long?

The investigation into the murder of Tupac Shakur was hindered by uncooperative witnesses and conflicting testimony, but was revived in 2019 when Davis confessed to his involvement in the infamous murder in a self-published memoir titled Compton Street Legend. In the memoir, Davis admitted to passing the murder weapon, a .40-caliber handgun, to his nephew and suspected shooter, Orlando Anderson.

On July 17, police executed a search warrant at Davis’ home in suburban Las Vegas and seized various items, including documents, photos, news clippings, .40-caliber bullets, and a copy of the memoir.

Davis is the only person charged in connection with Tupac Shakur’s murder and the sole surviving suspect.

Although Anderson was questioned, he was never charged and died in a gang-related shootout at a car wash in Compton, California two years later. Terry Brown, the driver of the white Cadillac from which Shakur was shot, and Deandrae “Big Dre” Smith, another passenger, also died without being charged.

Brown was murdered at a Compton cannabis dispensary in 2015, while Smith passed away due to complications from obesity in 2004.

58-year-old Knight is currently serving a 28-year sentence in a California prison for an unrelated manslaughter conviction and has refused to cooperate with the investigation into Shakur’s murder.

Davis is currently held in custody without bail. A status check-in has been scheduled for November 7, during which a trial date is expected to be determined. Davis has waived his right to a trial within 60 days.



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