20 February 2024

Ex-gang leader’s murder trial over Tupac Shakur killing pushed back to November

20 February 2024

The trial of a former gang leader in the Los Angeles area accused of killing hip-hop music star Tupac Shakur in Las Vegas in 1996 has been pushed back several months, a judge said.

Clark County District Court Judge Carli Kierny acknowledged that Duane “Keffe D” Davis’s lawyer, Carl Arnold, was new to the case and that prosecutors are still providing evidentiary material to the defence.

She reset the trial date from June 3 to November 4.

Davis has been jailed on 750,000 dollar (£594,000) bail since his arrest in September, and he expects to be able to raise the 10% needed to obtain a bond to be released to house arrest, Mr Arnold said.

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

“I’ve got family that is hesitant to come in here and help me out on the bail because of the media and the circus that’s going on,” Davis said.

Davis, 60, is originally from Compton, California.

He is the only person still alive who was in a car from which shots were fired in September 1996, killing Shakur and wounding rap mogul Marion “Suge” Knight in another car at a traffic signal near the Las Vegas Strip.

Knight, now 58, is serving 28 years in a California prison for an unrelated fatal shooting in the Los Angeles area in 2015.

Mr Arnold told reporters outside the courtroom that he believed Davis may be able this week to finish raising the 75,000 dollars to obtain a bail bond and be freed to house arrest with electronic monitoring.

A source hearing could take place within 30 days, he said.

Davis was arrested outside his home in suburban Henderson.

He pleaded not guilty in November to first-degree murder and has remained jailed at the Clark County Detention Centre in Las Vegas.

If convicted, he could spend the rest of his life in prison.

Prosecutors say they have strong evidence that Davis incriminated himself during police and media interviews since 2008, and in his own 2019 tell-all memoir of life leading a Compton street gang.

Mr Arnold on Tuesday echoed comments by Davis’s previous lawyers, telling reporters that Davis wrote the book to make money, as others including a police investigator had done.

He also noted that police and prosecutors do not have a murder weapon or the car from which shots were fired.

He said the state will have to prove that Davis was in Las Vegas the night Shakur was shot.

Davis wrote that he was promised immunity from prosecution in 2010 when he told authorities in Los Angeles what he knew about the fatal shootings of Shakur and rival rapper Christopher Wallace six months later in Los Angeles.

Wallace was known as The Notorious B.I.G. or Biggie Smalls.

Shakur had five number one albums, was nominated for six Grammy Awards and was inducted in 2017 into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

He received a posthumous star last year on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

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