Tupac Shakur murder suspect appears in court

By Mike Hayes and Leinz Vales, CNN

Updated 1:07 PM ET, Wed October 4, 2023
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1:07 p.m. ET, October 4, 2023

Our live coverage has ended. Read more about Duane Keith Davis' first court appearance in connection with the 1996 fatal shooting of Tupac Shakur below. 

12:38 p.m. ET, October 4, 2023

Duane Davis' own words reignited the investigation that led to his arrest, police lieutenant says

From CNN's Jason Kravarik and Josh Campbell

Las Vegas Metro Police Department investigators say Duane Davis’ own words reignited the investigation into Tupac Shakur’s death, leading to Friday's arrest. 

Davis admitted his role in the murder to police in 2009, but because it came as part of a proffer agreement, which precluded any of the statements being used against him, he was not charged according to a former police detective who investigated the case. 

"We knew about Davis all the way back from his initial confession to law enforcement. We sat him down back in 2009, and he confessed to his role in the murder along with other coconspirators." Greg Kading told CNN's Jake Tapper Friday.

Kading was a former Los Angeles police detective who spent years probing the murder of Shakur and wrote about it in a memoir.

"He had a proffer agreement, so we couldn't utilize that information that he was providing against him." Kading said.

A proffer is an agreement between a prosecutor and a suspect in which the individual agrees to provide the government with potentially useful information regarding an investigation, however, the statements made generally cannot be used as evidence against the person.

"But then he began to go out publicly boast about his involvement in the murder, and that led to law enforcement in Las Vegas taking another look at his claims, and ultimately, he's talked himself right into jail."

Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Lt. Jason Johansson said Friday at a news conference that Davis had spoken to "numerous different media outlets," which helped with the investigation. Davis also participated in a 2018 Netflix documentary on the Shakur homicide and released his own memoir.

“This was likely our last time to take a run at this case to successfully solve this case and bring forth a criminal charge,” Johansson said. 
12:16 p.m. ET, October 4, 2023

Clark County district attorney: "This case is like no other case"

Following a short court apperance for Duane Keith Davis, the 60-year-old man arrested last week in connection with the 1996 killing of rapper Tupac Shakur, Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson was asked why it has taken so long for this case to reach this stage. Wolfson said, "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," Wolfson said during a brief press conference outside the Las Vegas courthouse. "Any case that's 27 years old, sometimes that presents some challenges, but we feel very confident that the criminal justice system will work in this case."

Wolfson called the investigation into Tupac's murder an "important case" and said the DA's office "wanted to make sure we did it right."

"We wanted to make sure we had legally admissible evidence. We wanted to make sure that we felt comfortable that we had sufficient legal evidence. You know, if you're going to charge a person with murder, he has a right to believe that the system would only bring charges if there was sufficient legal evidence. So, we waited until the point in time when we had that degree of evidence to move forward."
12:39 p.m. ET, October 4, 2023

Tupac Shakur murder suspect to remain in custody

From CNN's Andi Babineau and Danielle Sills

Duane Keith Davis appears in court on Wednesday, October 4.
Duane Keith Davis appears in court on Wednesday, October 4. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal/AP

Duane Keith Davis could not be arraigned during this morning's scheduled court appearance without an attorney present, Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson told reporters outside of the courtroom.

"Nothing will occur in the next couple of weeks until the next court appearance when his lawyer appears," he said, adding Davis is being held on no bail until at least his next court appearance.

"We will continue to ask for a no bail setting, because we believe under Nevada law and evidence in this case, that the proof is evident and the presumption is great that he will be convicted of first-degree murder, and that allows us to ask for a no bail setting," Wolfson said.

11:52 a.m. ET, October 4, 2023

Tupac murder suspect's arraignment delayed for 2 weeks

From CNN's Andi Babineau and Danielle Sills

The arraignment of Duane Keith Davis, the 60-year-old man arrested last week in the 1996 killing of rapper Tupac Shakur, has been delayed to Thursday, October 19, the judge announced in court.

12:33 p.m. ET, October 4, 2023

Tupac Shakur murder suspect makes first court appearance

Duane Keith Davis is led into the courtroom on Wednesday, October 4.
Duane Keith Davis is led into the courtroom on Wednesday, October 4. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal/AP

Duane Keith Davis, aka “Keffe D,” made his first appearance in court in connection with the 1996 fatal shooting of rapper Tupac Shakur.

Davis was expected to be arraigned on a charge of murder with use of a deadly weapon in a gang-related homicide. But when he appeared in court, dressed in a Clark County Detention Center jumpsuit, Davis said his defense attorney needed two weeks.

Davis was arrested last week after a grand jury indicted him on charges of murder with use of a deadly weapon in connection with the murder, Las Vegas authorities announced. He is the only suspect in the case still alive, police said.

CNN's Dakin Andone contributed reporting to this post.

11:03 a.m. ET, October 4, 2023

Grand jury indicted Duane Keith Davis on charges of murder with use of a deadly weapon in Tupac Shakur case

From CNN's Kyung Lah and Zoe Sottile

A grand jury has indicted Duane Keith “Keffe D” Davis on charges of murder with use of a deadly weapon in connection with the 1996 killing of rapper Tupac Shakur, Las Vegas authorities announced last week.

Officials said Davis is expected to appear in court Wednesday for a hearing to determine his custody status and set a jury trial date.

10:49 a.m. ET, October 4, 2023

Davis believed to be "the shot caller" who organized a plan to kill Tupac Shakur, police say

Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Lt. Jason Johansson speaks during a news conference on Friday, September 29, 2023, in Las Vegas.
Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Lt. Jason Johansson speaks during a news conference on Friday, September 29, 2023, in Las Vegas. KTNV

Police believe that Duane Keith Davis, the man arrested in connection to the murder of Tupac Shakur, orchestrated a plan to commit the crime with several other people.

A grand jury indicted Davis on charges of murder with the use of a deadly weapon in connection to the 1996 killing.

"I think the best way to characterize that is Duane Davis was the shot caller for this group of individuals that committed this crime and he orchestrated the plan that was carried out to commit this crime," Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Lt. Jason Johansson said.

Even if Davis was not the one that shot Shakur, under Nevada law he can still be charged with murder, Las Vegas, Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson said. This is because of the state's aiding and abetting statute, he said.

"So if you helped somebody commit a crime, you can be equally as guilty," Wolfson said.

He said that is "one of the theories in this case as well."

Johansson said police believe Davis obtained the gun that was used from a "close associate," but declined to give any more details, saying they would come out during the trial.

Davis is set to appear in court in the next few days when a date for that jury trial will be set, police said.

11:00 a.m. ET, October 4, 2023

The suspect in Tupac Shakur's 1996 killing will be arraigned today

From CNN's Dakin Andone and Andi Babineau,

Tupac Shakur in 1994.
Tupac Shakur in 1994. Bob Berg/Getty Images

The 60-year-old man arrested last week in the 1996 killing of rapper Tupac Shakur is set to appear Wednesday in court in Las Vegas to be arraigned on a charge of murder with use of a deadly weapon in a gang-related homicide. 

Duane Keith Davis, known as “Keffe D,” is accused of orchestrating the shooting that cut short the life of the 25-year-old trailblazer, whose brief, prolific career cemented his legacy as one of the most influential hip-hop artists of all time. His untimely death added a grim layer to that mystique, and for years it had been the subject of conspiracy theories. 

Shakur’s slaying also was the subject of a decadeslong investigation by police that culminated last week with Davis’ arrest following his indictment by a grand jury. He is the only suspect in the case still alive, police said. 

For years, Davis has placed himself at the scene of the crime, stating publicly he was in the front seat of a white Cadillac when it pulled up alongside Shakur’s car and shots rang out from the back seat. Shakur was shot four times and died six days later.

Authorities have cast Davis as the alleged ringmaster of the plot to kill Shakur, which they contend was retaliation for an attack on Davis’ nephew, Orlando Anderson, that stemmed from a broader conflict between two gangs in Compton, California.