Duane Keith “Keefe D” Davis, the man who was arrested in connection with the 1996 killing of rapper Tupac Shakur, entered his plea to murder charges at his arraignment on Thursday.
In the Las Vegas courtroom, Davis stood in shackles and waved to his wife, son, and daughter.
When Clark County District Court Judge Tierra Jones asked for his plea, he said “not guilty,” per the Associated Press.
Davis, 60, is the only surviving individual associated with Shakur’s killing, and he is the sole person ever charged in connection with the murder.
The man accused of ordering the 1996 hit of #TupacShakur appeared in court Thursday for an arraignment hearing. Duane “Keefe D” Davis pleaded not guilty to the murder charge against him for the killing of Shakur. pic.twitter.com/iS6HxS4JJu
— Law&Crime Network (@LawCrimeNetwork) November 2, 2023
Shakur was shot multiple times on the Las Vegas Strip on Sept. 7, 1996, while riding in a vehicle with rap mogul Marion “Suge” Knight.
A Cadillac pulled up beside them, and assailants opened fire, ultimately leading to Tupac’s death a few days later at the age of 25. Knight was also wounded in the incident.
Prosecutors allege Davis was the mastermind behind Shakur’s murder, claiming that he obtained and provided a weapon to someone in the Cadillac before the fatal shooting took place.
Over the years, Davis has admitted in interviews and in his 2019 memoir, Compton Street Legend, that he was in the Cadillac at the time of Shakur’s murder — but insists another person fired the fatal shots.
Shakur’s murder case remained unsolved for decades until the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department executed a search warrant in July, renewing the investigation into the rapper’s death.
Davis was arrested on Sept. 29 outside a home in suburban Henderson, Nev., where the search warrant was served.
He now faces charges of murder with a deadly weapon and intent to promote, further, or assist a criminal gang.
The former gang leader remains in custody without bail. He declined to testify before the grand jury that indicted him.
The judge informed Davis that prosecutors are not seeking the death penalty, but if convicted, he could face life in prison.
After trying and failing to hire Las Vegas defense attorney Ross Goodman, because he was “not able to meet” the lawyer’s terms, Davis was assigned public defenders Robert Arroyo and Charles Cano to represent him.
His next court date is set for Nov. 7, to schedule a trial.