A person who for years has mentioned he was a essential participant within the gang-orchestrated taking pictures of the rapper Tupac Shakur pleaded not responsible on Thursday to a cost of homicide with a lethal weapon, following an indictment that thrust the dormant case again into public view.
The person, Duane Keith Davis, often known as Keffe D, has spoken and written about how he was contained in the automobile from which photographs had been fired at Mr. Shakur in 1996.
Sporting a darkish blue inmate’s outfit and cuffs on his wrists and ankles, Mr. Davis, 60, regarded instantly on the choose as he entered his plea, asking for clarification when the prosecutors mentioned they didn’t plan to ask for the dying penalty within the case.
His arraignment had been delayed for weeks as a result of he beforehand didn’t have a lawyer to symbolize him. At Thursday’s listening to, Mr. Davis was represented by the general public defender’s workplace, although he advised the choose that he hoped to retain Ross Goodman, a high-profile protection lawyer whose mother and father have each served because the mayor of Las Vegas.
In a information convention after Mr. Davis’s arrest in September, the police mentioned he had been a pacesetter of the South Facet Compton Crips when he directed the taking pictures of Mr. Shakur after his nephew and fellow gang member, Orlando Anderson, was overwhelmed up by Mr. Shakur and his associates earlier that evening. The instigating assault had taken place on the MGM Grand lodge in Las Vegas, the place members of two warring gangs — together with among the prime gamers in gangster rap — had converged on a Mike Tyson-Bruce Seldon prizefight.
The investigation into the killing stalled within the years after Mr. Shakur’s dying. The police attributed that to a scarcity of cooperation from witnesses, however some thought-about it a failure to correctly dedicate sources to fixing the homicide of a younger Black rapper who had risen to the highest of his trade by the age of 25.
The killing continued to be a supply of intrigue for rap followers and web sleuths, and Mr. Davis started sharing his account of the occasions in Las Vegas with filmmakers, YouTube interviewers and readers of his 2019 memoir, “Compton Street Legend.” Within the guide, Mr. Davis describes acquiring a .40-caliber Glock pistol simply earlier than he and a crew of Crips sought revenge for the beating of Mr. Anderson.
It was Mr. Davis’s personal phrases about his involvement that reinvigorated the case, the authorities mentioned. The case in opposition to him ramped up in July, when the police searched his residence in Henderson, Nev.
Clifford Mogg, a retired murder detective who began trying into the case in 2018, across the time that Mr. Davis gave his first public interview on the topic, advised grand jurors that within the search, investigators recovered Mr. Davis’s cellphone, a replica of his guide and two bins of images and different supplies, together with a photograph album with information clippings associated to Mr. Shakur’s homicide.
Mr. Davis, who has spoken publicly about his profession within the drug commerce in nice element, has been out and in of jail for the previous 40 years, partially on federal drug trafficking fees.