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Tupac Shakur murder suspect Duane 'Keffe D' Davis appears in court

Duane "Keffe D" Davis is led into the courtroom at the Regional Justice Center on Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2023, in Las Vegas.   -  
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Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal


Duane "Keffe D" Davis, a self-described gangster who police and prosecutors say masterminded the shooting death of Tupac Shakur in Las Vegas in 1996 made his first appearance Wednesday before a Nevada judge.

“Well, it's a cold case. It's been lingering for 27 years. But I felt there was sufficient, legally admissible evidence to move forward. That's why we presented it to a grand jury. The grand jury agreed that there was probable cause to return an indictment. But this case is like no other case. In a court of law, we have to present sufficient legal evidence to hopefully prove his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Any case that’s 27 years old, sometimes it presents some challenges, but we feel very confident that the criminal justice system will work in this case,” said Steve Wolfson, District Attorney.

Davis, 60, was arrested Friday during an early-morning walk near his home in suburban Henderson. A few hours later, a grand jury indictment was unsealed in Clark County District Court charging him with murder.

Grand jurors also voted to add sentencing enhancements for the use of a deadly weapon and alleged gang activity. If Davis is convicted, that could add decades to his sentence.

Duane Davis had been a suspect in the case, and publicly admitted his role in the killing in interviews ahead of his 2019 tell-all memoir, "Compton Street Legend."

"There's one thing that's for sure when living that gangster lifestyle," he wrote. "You already know that the stuff you put out is going to come back; you never know how or when, but there's never a doubt that it's coming."

Davis' own comments revived the police investigation that led to the indictment, police and prosecutors said. In mid-July, Las Vegas police raided Davis' home, drawing renewed attention to one of hip-hop music's most enduring mysteries.

Prosecutors allege Shakur's killing stemmed from a rivalry and competition for dominance in a musical genre that, at the time, was dubbed "gangsta rap." It pitted East Coast members of a Bloods gang sect associated with rap music mogul Marion "Suge" Knight against West Coast members of a Crips sect that Davis has said he led in Compton, California.

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