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Duane Keith Davis, the alleged former gang leader accused of orchestrating the 1996 drive-by shooting of Tupac Shakur, pled not guilty to murder charges on Thursday.
During an arraignment hearing in Las Vegas, Davis, known by his street name “Keffe D,” was allegedly in the vehicle from which shots were fired that night, killing Shakur.
Tupac Shakur was shot and killed on September 7, 1996.
He was riding in a car with his entourage after leaving a Mike Tyson boxing match at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino. Moments prior, he was seen in a reportedly gang-related scuffle at said casino.
‘Not guilty’ plea comes after both sides offer contradictory details
Davis’s defense attorney has argued that Davis is innocent and that he was not involved in Shakur’s murder.
However, prosecutors have presented evidence that links Davis to the crime. Other evidence includes witnesses who claim they saw him in the vehicle from which the shots were fired.
If convicted, Davis faces life in prison without the possibility of parole. He is scheduled to stand trial in March 2024.
Davis will stand trial in the murder of Tupac Shakur
Davis’s plea of not guilty is significant because it means that he will stand trial for the murder.
According to ABC News, the state said it does not plan to pursue the death penalty in the murder case. Davis asked Judge Tierra Jones for clarification after she inquired if prosecutors were “taking this to death review.”
Police said Davis — who has admitted publicly to being in the Cadillac at the time of the shooting — was the Crips’ “shot caller.” He is accused of orchestrating the “retaliatory shooting” that killed Shakur.
Further, this is the first time that anyone has been charged with Shakur’s murder.
This story is developing.