TUPAC SHAKUR: Former gang leader charged with rap legend's murder after 'admitting role in memoir'
A FORMER gang leader, who has repeatedly claimed to have been involved in the drive-by shooting of rap legend Tupac Shakur, has been charged with his murder more than 25 years after the killing.
Las Vegas prosecutors said on Friday (September 29) they had charged Duane Keith Davis with his murder.
Davis has previously said in interviews and a memoir that he was in the front passenger seat of the white Cadillac that pulled up near the vehicle Shakur was in after a 1996 prize fight between Mike Tyson and Bruce Seldon in Las Vegas.
The 25-year-old rapper was shot four times and died in a hospital less than a week later.
A grand jury in Clark County indicted Mr Davis on one count of murder with use of a deadly weapon, plus a gang enhancement, a prosecutor said in court on Friday.
Mr Davis (below) is in custody without bail following his arrest.
Until now, no charges had ever been filed in connection with the shooting of Mr Shakur, which sparked sevral conspiracy theories among fans of one of the most popular artists of the 1990s.
The case gathered momentum after Las Vegas police executed a search warrant at a home in Henderson, Nevada, connected to Davis.
Marc DiGiacomo, a chief deputy district attorney in Clark County, said in court on Friday that Davis was the “on-ground, on-site commander” who “ordered the death” of Shakur and the attempted murder of Marion Knight, the rap mogul known as Suge, who was driving the car holding the rapper.
It was not clear whether Davis has a lawyer yet.
In his 2019 memoir, Davis, who goes by the name Keffe D, recounted a gang dispute that escalated after Shakur and his associates beat up Davis’s nephew, Orlando Anderson, following the boxing match at the MGM Grand hotel.
“Them jumping on my nephew gave us the ultimate green light to do something,” Davis said in the memoir, “Compton Street Legend.” “Tupac chose the wrong game to play.”
According to a copy of the indictment filed in Clark County District Court, prosecutors accused Davis of obtaining a gun “for the purpose of seeking retribution against” Shakur and Knight, and of handing off the weapon either to his nephew or someone else in the Cadillac with “the intent that this crime be committed.” Davis is the only person in the car who is still alive.
Mr DiGiacomo acknowledged in court that the broad outlines of what had occurred that night were known to the police as far back as 1996.
“What was lacking was admissible evidence to establish this chain of events,” he said, noting that Davis then began to describe his role publicly. “He admitted within that book that he did acquire the firearm with the intent to go hunt down Mr Shakur (below) and Mr Knight.”
Las Vegas police confirmed that Mr Davis’s own words reinvigorated their case, starting with a television appearance he made in 2018.
“We knew at this time that this was likely our last time to take a run at this case,” Lt. Jason Johansson of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department said.
Davis had avoided directly naming the person who opened fire in recent interviews. But in a taped confession released by a former Los Angeles Police Department detective who investigated Mr. Shakur’s murder, Davis told the police that it had been Mr Anderson, his nephew, who was known as Baby Lane.
Mr Anderson was questioned by officers investigating Shakur’s death but was killed in a shooting in 1998.
In his memoir, Davis, who has also been known as Keefe D, said that after the shooting, the men abandoned the car and walked back to the hotel, picking the vehicle up the next day and taking it back to California.
It was cleaned and painted before it was returned to the rental agency days later, Davis said. By that point it was “too late for any forensics to be accurate and reliable,” he noted.
The case was adjourned.