While leaving a Vegas boxing match on the Strip, rapper Tupac Shakur was fatally shot nearly three decades ago. In the years following the murder, Duane Keith Davis acknowledged that he had been in the car when another unnamed passenger took aim and shot the rapper, but authorities were unable to use that confession at the time. That is because the information was offered in a proffer agreement—meaning suspect Davis provided the detail in order to assist in an investigation with the understanding that it could not be used as evidence against him. More recently, though, Davis’ media comments led to renewed interest in the case, and investigators ultimately got the evidence they needed to secure an indictment.
The investigation took on a new life about five years ago and uncovered evidence that led to the arrest and grand jury indictment of Davis. Prosecutors contend that Tupac’s murder occurred in retaliation for a physical attack that Tupac and some of his Death Row Records unleashed on Davis’ nephew earlier in the day. Within hours of that attack, Davis had planned and pulled off the murder of Tupac Shakur.
The violence 27 years ago was rooted in gang conflicts that arose in Compton, California, according to police. Shakur was a member of a gang named Mob Piru, which had issues with the Southside Compton Crips, with whom Davis was associated. With both men and their associates in Vegas to see the Mike Tyson/Bruce Seldon match-up at the MGM Grand, a chance encounter between a group of Death Row Records execs and Davis’ nephew in the MGM led to a physical altercation initiated by Tupac and friends. News of his nephew’s attack reached Davis, who straightaway came up with a plan to get a gun to get revenge.
Davis and his entourage got into a white Cadillac, and the gun was given to a passenger in the. Then they sought their nemesis, pulled up next to a black BMW, and shot Shakur repeatedly. Six days later, Shakur was dead after four bullets led to irreparable damage. There is no indication of who pulled the trigger, but the indictment clearly called out Davis as the one who organized the deadly events that night.
Murder charges involving a deadly weapon are serious in their own right, and a gang enhancement could add another twenty years to Davis’ sentence. Thus, a guilty verdict could put the 60-year-old defendant behind bars for the rest of his life.
Clearly, a criminal defense could be necessary in any unsolved matter, even years after the event in question. If you find yourself facing charges in a criminal matter, the experienced and aggressive criminal defense attorneys at Boertje & Associates in San Diego can help. Schedule a confidential consultation today.