The ex-leader of a street gang in southern California, who is accused of murdering Tupac Shakur in 1996 in Las Vegas, has been denied the opportunity to have the same lawyer who previously discussed his defense represent him at his arraignment.
According to lawyer Ross Goodman, on Wednesday, Duane Keith “Keffe D” Davis was unable to fulfill the conditions of a deal that a judge had given them an extra two weeks to negotiate on October 19. Goodman did not provide a reason for the disagreement.
On Thursday, Davis will appear in court in Nevada for his arraignment. Judge Tierra Jones of the Clark County District Court may request a financial evaluation of Davis’s assets to determine if he can hire a lawyer or if he should be deemed indigent and assigned a public defender to represent him.
Scott Coffee, a public defender from Clark County, stated that the lawyers are currently examining Davis’s case to determine if they are able to represent him. This includes checking for any potential conflicts, such as having previously represented others involved in the case.
Officials at a county special public defender’s office, an alternate possible source of court-appointed attorneys, did not respond Wednesday to email inquiries about the Davis case. The judge also could name a defense attorney in private practice to represent Davis, at taxpayer expense.
Edi Faal, who has been Davis’s personal lawyer for a long time in Los Angeles, did not reply to phone calls and emails regarding Goodman’s statements. He previously stated to AP that he was assisting Davis in finding a defense lawyer in Nevada and also confirmed Goodman’s participation two weeks ago.
Davis, aged 60, hails from Compton, California. On September 29, he was apprehended outside his residence in suburban Las Vegas. This was the same day that an indictment was issued accusing him of masterminding the car-to-car attack that resulted in the death of Shakur and injury of rap mogul Marion “Suge” Knight. Davis is anticipated to enter a plea of not guilty for the murder charge, which could potentially lead to a lifetime imprisonment.
Shakur died at age 25. Knight was wounded but survived. Now 58, he’s serving a 28-year prison sentence for the murder of a Compton businessman in January 2015. Knight has not responded to AP requests for comment about Davis arrest.
On October 19th, Goodman reported observing “clear defenses” in the homicide case. These defenses include the lack of evidence such as the gun and car used in the shooting, as well as the absence of witnesses from 27 years ago.
The grand jury was informed that the shooting occurred after a fight at a Las Vegas casino between Shakur, Davis’s nephew, and Orlando “Baby Lane” Anderson.
Anderson refuted any involvement in the death of Shakur and passed away in a shooting in Compton in May 1998 at the young age of 23. The other two individuals present in the vehicle with Davis and Anderson have also since passed away.
In recent years, Davis has openly discussed his involvement in the death of Shakur. This includes sharing details in interviews and writing a memoir in 2019 that revealed his position as a leader in a Crips gang division in Compton.
According to Prosecutor Marc DiGiacomo, Davis confessed to the grand jury in his book that he had supplied the firearm, was present in the vehicle, and took charge as the on-ground leader of the plot to murder Tupac Shakur and Suge Knight.