Tupac Shakur murder suspect Duane Davis made his first court appearance since being charged over the rapper’s killing, but the hearing was derailed by his absent lawyer.
Mr Davis appeared in a courtroom in Las Vegas on Wednesday morning following his arrest last week for the decades-old killing of Shakur, who died in a drive-by shooting in the city in 1996.
But his arraignment was postponed as the 60-year-old told a judge that his lawyer from California was unable to attend for several weeks, reported KLAS.
“He needs two weeks he said to be here,” Mr Davis told Judge Terra Jones.
Mr Davis has reportedly hired Edi Faal, a lawyer from California, who told KLAS he is helping his client retain counsel in Nevada.
“Today was the scheduled arraignment but he can’t be arraigned until he has a lawyer. Mr. Davis announced that he has retained a lawyer,” Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson said following the court appearance. “Mr Faal couldn’t be here today so Mr. Davis asked for a two-week continuance.”
Mr Davis is currently being held in the Clark County Detention Center without bail. The arraignment will be continued on 19 October.
He was arrested by police near his home in Las Vegas on Friday 29 September, hours after a grand jury returned an indictment of murder with use of a deadly weapon against him.
Prosecutors then appeared in court where they described him as the “on-ground, on-site commander” who “ordered the death” of Shakur.
The rapper had been in Las Vegas with Suge Knight on 7 September 1996 for Mike Tyson’s WBA heavyweight championship fight against Bruce Seldon at the MGM Grand. Before the fight Tupac and his bodyguards had got into an altercation of their own, brawling with gang member Orlando “Baby Lane” Anderson.
Prosecutors now say that Mr Davis “formulated a plan to exact revenge upon Mr Knight and Mr Shakur” in his nephew’s defence.
On leaving the MGM Grand, Tupac and Knight drove along the strip in their BMW and stopped at a red light at an intersection.
A white Cadillac pulled up beside them and opened fire.
Tupac was shot four times with one of the bullets piercing his lung. He died six days later in hospital.
In both the 2018 Netflix documentary Unsolved: The Tupac and Biggie Murders and in his book Compton Street Legend which he published in 2019, Keffe D claimed that his nephew Orlando Anderson fatally shot Tupac – and that he was in the car with him when he opened fire.
“Tupac made an erratic move and began to reach down beneath his seat,” he writes in the book.
“It was the first and only time in my life that I could relate to the police command, ‘Keep your hands where I can see them.’ Instead, Pac pulled out a strap, and that’s when the fireworks started.
“One of my guys from the back seat grabbed the Glock and started bustin’ back.”
In the memoir, Mr Davis says that he was in the front passenger seat of the Cadillac and had slipped the Glock pistol into the back seat where his nephew sat.
Orlando Anderson was killed in a gang-related shooting in 1998.