The murder of Tupac Shakur has remained unsolved for more than 25 years. But investigators finally made an arrest in the case when they took Duane “Keefe D” Davis into custody on September 29. Now, the former gang member has entered his plea. According to KTNV Las Vegas, Davis appeared before Judge Tierra Jones for arraignment on Thursday (November 2) and entered a not guilty plea.
Special public defenders Robert Arroyo and Charles Cano were appointed to represent him after Davis lost his bid to retain local attorney Ross Goodman. Davis also waived his right to a speedy trial. The hearing began without Davis in the courtroom. Instead, he was led in separately, in handcuffs and leg shackles. He’s understood to be in protective custody for his safety. State prosecutors told Judge Jones they aren’t seeking the death penalty.
#NEW: Duane Davis pleads not guilty to murder.
— Jaewon Jung (@jaewonnews) November 2, 2023
Authorities said Davis “ordered the death” of Shakur and the attempted murder of Suge Knight, who was in the car with the late rapper. Davis publicly admitted his involvement in the 1996 shooting in interviews and a memoir titled Compton Street Legend.
“Duane Davis was the shot caller for this group of individuals that committed this crime,” Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Lt. Jason Johansson said. “And he orchestrated the plan that was carried out.”
Davis is the uncle of the late Orlando Anderson, who was long considered the prime suspect in Shakur’s murder. He’s been charged with one count of murder with the use of a deadly weapon and with the intent to promote, further or assist a criminal gang. If convicted, the Compton-raised drug dealer could be sentenced to 30 years in jail.
Shakur was shot near the intersection of Flamingo Road and Koval Lane in Las Vegas on September 7 after getting into a scuffle with Anderson. He died six days later at University of Nevada Medical Center.