Duane ‘Keffe D’ Davis pleads not guilty
Prosecutors told a Las Vegas judge on Nov. 2 they won’t seek the death penalty against the man accused of orchestrating the killing of Tupac Shakur, as Duane “Keffe D” Davis pleaded not guilty to murder.
Davis, 60, a self-admitted shot caller of the Compton Southside Crips, appeared in court handcuffed and told the judge he understood the charge he faced. He then entered his plea on his third court appearance since his late September arrest in one of the nation’s most infamous celebrity murder cases.
After Clark County Judge Tierra D. Jones asked prosecutors whether they would seek the death penalty against Davis in the 1996 slaying, a prosecutor said they were not planning to ask a review panel to consider such a move.
Davis asked the judge to explain what she meant by the question.
“Every first-degree murder case, I have to ask the state if they are going to commit to going to committee to seek the death penalty,” Jones said.
Davis was represented Thursday by special public defenders Robert Arroyo and Charles Cano. Two weeks ago, Jones had delayed his arraignment while a new lawyer, Ross Goodman, sought to take over legal representation. Though no agreement has been reached, Davis told Jones he still intended to have Goodman represent him.
Clark County Dist. Atty. Steve Wolfson told reporters after the Nov. 2 hearing that prosecutors had talked about the death penalty and determined it was not a case in which they would seek it. Wolfson said he believed the trial would start sometime next year.
Following Davis’ last appearance, Goodman, the son of former Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman and current Mayor Carolyn Goodman, suggested police had no evidence beyond Davis’ stories and questioned how authorities could verify his recounting of his involvement in the deadly confrontation on Sept. 7, 1996.
“As everyone here knows, you have to corroborate those statements. You don’t have a car, you don’t have a gun and you don’t have witnesses to corroborate with what Mr. Davis said under those circumstances,” Goodman said. “I believe there is an obvious defense to that — why he made those statements and a motive for making those statements.”