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Man Charged in Tupac Shakur Killing Loses Bid for Lawyer Representation

The former southern California street gang leader charged with killing Tupac Shakur in 1996 in Las Vegas has lost his bid to be represented at his arraignment by the lawyer who spoke publicly about his defense two weeks ago.

Attorney Ross Goodman told the Associated Press on Wednesday that Duane Keith “Keffe D” Davis could not meet the terms of an agreement that a judge on 19 October gave them two more weeks to reach. Goodman did not specify a reason for the impasse.

Davis is due for arraignment in Nevada on Thursday, and the Clark county district court judge Tierra Jones could order a financial accounting of Davis’s assets to determine whether he can afford a lawyer or she should declare him indigent and name an attorney to defend him at public expense.

Scott Coffee, a deputy Clark county public defender, said attorneys there were reviewing Davis’s case to determine whether they can represent him or they have a conflict such as having in the past represented other people involved in the case.

Officials at a county special public defender’s office, an alternat possible source of court-appointed attorneys, did not respond on 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, Davis’s longtime personal lawyer in Los Angeles, did not respond to telephone and email messages about Goodman’s comments. He told AP after Davis’s first court appearance on 4 October that he was helping Davis find a defense attorney in Nevada, and he confirmed Goodman’s involvement two weeks ago.

Davis, 60, is originally from Compton, California. He was arrested on 29 September outside his home in suburban Las Vegas, the same day an indictment was filed accusing him of orchestrating the car-to-car shooting that killed Shakur and wounded the rap music mogul Marion “Suge” Knight. Davis is expected to plead not guilty to a murder charge that could put him in prison for the rest of his life.

Shakur died at age 25. Knight was wounded but survived. Now 58, he is 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’s arrest.

Goodman said on 19 October he saw “obvious defenses” in the murder case, including that police and prosecutors do not have the gun or car used in the shooting, and “there’s no witnesses from 27 years ago”.

Grand jurors were told the shooting followed a brawl in a casino on the Las Vegas strip involving Shakur and Davis’s nephew, Orlando “Baby Lane” Anderson.

Anderson denied involvement in Shakur’s death and died in a May 1998 shooting in Compton at age 23. The other two men in the car with Davis and Anderson are also now dead.

Davis in recent years has publicly described his role in Shakur’s death, including in interviews and a 2019 tell-all memoir that described his life as a leader of a Crips gang sect in Compton.

Prosecutor Marc DiGiacomo told the grand jury that Davis admitted in his book that he had provided the gun, had been in the car “and that he was the on-ground, on-site commander of the effort to kill Tupac Shakur and Suge Knight”.

Source : The Guardian