A former gang member, long linked to the murder of rap icon Tupac Shakur 25 years ago, pleaded not guilty in a US court. Duane "Keefe D" Davis, 60, was charged in September with the murder, even though he wasn't the one holding the weapon in the Las Vegas gang feud.
Davis, a former member of Compton's South Side Crips gang, had previously admitted his role, claiming he was the "on-site commander" seeking revenge for an assault on his nephew.
In a Las Vegas court appearance, Davis denied the charge of murder with a deadly weapon with the intent to promote, further, or assist a criminal gang. Under Nevada law, aiding or abetting a murder can lead to a murder charge. Prosecutors announced they wouldn't seek the death penalty if Davis is convicted.
Tupac Shakur, a renowned hip-hop artist, was killed on September 7, 1996, at the age of 25. He was associated with Death Row Records, linked to the Los Angeles street gang Mob Piru, which had a feud with the South Side Compton Crips.
Prosecutors had limited admissible evidence until Davis spoke about the crime in an autobiography and a TV show. Statements Davis made in the past will be considered at the trial. Despite the global attention on the case, Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson emphasized that the focus remains on presenting evidence to the jury for the ultimate decision.