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Tupac Shakur: the delayed trial of Duane “Keffe D” Davis, former gang leader accused of murdering hip-hop star in 1996

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The trial of a former gang leader accused of killing rapper Tupac Shakur has been postponed for several months.

Duane “Keffe D” Davis was scheduled to go on trial in June after being arrested last year, 27 years after the hip-hop star’s death.

He is believed to be the only person still alive in the vehicle from which shots were fired in Las Vegas, Nevada, on September 7, 1996. Tupac died of his injuries six days later.

Duane 'Keffe D' Davis appears at the Regional Justice Center in Las Vegas on Tuesday, February 20, 2024. Photo: Bizuayehu Tesfaye/ Las Vegas Review-Journal/ AP
Picture:
Duane ‘Keffe D’ Davis pictured during his final court hearing. Photo: Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal/AP

After a recent change in her legal representation, Clark County District Court Judge Carli Kierny acknowledged during a hearing Tuesday that her attorney, Carl Arnold, was new to the case and that prosecutors were still providing evidence for the defense.

The trial start date has now been reset from June 3 to November 4.

Davis has been jailed on $750,000 bail (around £594,000) since his arrest in September. He hopes to be able to raise the 10 percent needed to get bail for house arrest, Mr. Arnold said.

Davis told Judge Kierny that the people willing to help him post bail did not want to appear in court for a “source hearing” to demonstrate that the money was obtained legally.

“I have family who are hesitant to come here and help me with my bail because of the media and the circus that’s going on,” he said.

Attorney Carl Arnold, representing Duane Keffe D Davis.  Photo: Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Revue-Journal de Las Vegas/AP
Picture:
Attorney Carl Arnold now represents Davis. Photo: Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Revue-Journal de Las Vegas/AP

The death of Tupac and Notorious B.I.G.

Rap mogul Marion “Suge” Knight was also injured in the shooting that killed Tupac.

Knight, now 58, is in prison for an unrelated crime in the Los Angeles area in 2015.

Six months after Tupac’s death, his East Coast rap rival Notorious B.I.G. was killed in a drive-by shooting in Los Angeles, and the mystery surrounding their unsolved murders has since given rise to countless theories and big titles.

Davis, 60, was arrested outside his home in Henderson, Nevada, but he is originally from Compton, California.

He has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder. If convicted, he could spend the rest of his life in prison.

Shakur has had five number one albums, been nominated for six Grammy Awards, and was posthumously inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2017. He also received a posthumous star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2023.

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