Duane "Keffe D" Davis is led into the courtroom at...

Duane "Keffe D" Davis is led into the courtroom at the Regional Justice Center on Wednesday in Las Vegas. Davis has been charged in the 1996 fatal drive-by shooting of rapper Tupac Shakur. Credit: Las Vegas Review-Journal via AP / Pool / Bizuayehu Tesfaye

A self-described gangster who police and prosecutors say masterminded the shooting death of Tupac Shakur in Las Vegas in 1996 made his first court appearance Wednesday on a murder charge.

Duane “Keffe D” Davis, 60, stood shackled, wearing a dark-blue jail uniform and plastic orange slippers. He was scheduled to be arraigned on the charge Wednesday, but the hearing was cut short after he asked Judge Tierra Jones to postpone the hearing while he retains counsel in Las Vegas. Jones rescheduled the arraignment for Oct. 19.

“Law enforcement hasn’t cared for a long time,” Mopreme Shakur, Tupac Shakur’s stepbrother, told The Associated Press over Zoom from his home in Los Angeles. “Young Black men often deal with delayed justice because we’re often viewed as the criminals. So justice has been delayed for quite some time — in spite of all the eyes, all the attention, despite the celebrity of my brother.”

“It’s already been 27 years and then the legal process, so-called wheels of justice, moves historically slow," he said.

Davis was arrested last week near his home in suburban Henderson. A few hours after his arrest last Friday a grand jury indictment was unsealed in Clark County District Court charging him with murder.

Grand jurors also voted to add sentencing enhancements for the use of a deadly weapon and alleged gang activity. If Davis is convicted, that could add decades to his sentence.

Los Angeles-based attorney Edi Faal told the AP in a brief phone call after the hearing that he is Davis’ longtime personal attorney and is helping him find a Nevada lawyer.

A portion of a mural by artist sloe_motions depicting Tupac...

A portion of a mural by artist sloe_motions depicting Tupac Shakur is seen on the side of Speedy Auto Tint on Friday, Sept. 29, 2023, in Bellflower, Calif. Credit: AP/Chris Pizzello

“I have worked with him for more than two decades,” Faal said. “But at this point I do not have a comment.”

Davis denied a request from the AP for an interview from jail, where he's being held without bond.

Davis had been a long-known suspect in the case, and publicly admitted his role in the killing in interviews ahead of his 2019 tell-all memoir, “Compton Street Legend.”

Latest videos

Newsday LogoYour Island. Your Community. Your News.Digital AccessOnly 25¢for 5 months