Alleged San Francisco club killer appearing in court 

The suspect in a 2010 fatal shooting that spurred changes to San Francisco laws addressing problem nightclubs will appear in court today on a murder charge.

This week, a judge is weighing whether there is sufficient evidence to hold a trial for Keandre Davis, 21, of Richmond in connection with the Feb. 7, 2010, slaying of a 19-year-old man outside the former Suede nightclub at 383 Bay St. in The City.

Lawon Hall, also of Richmond, was struck and killed as a large crowd gathered outside the Fisherman’s Wharf-area club about 1:40 a.m. Three other men also were injured by gunfire. Police recovered 44 bullet casings from the scene, some fired by a patrol special officer who was providing security at the club that night and who shot Davis. Davis was found by officers lying wounded outside the club. A gun was found in the area.

A second man was later arrested, but prosecutors declined to file charges.

A hearing that began Tuesday in San Francisco Superior Court was accompanied by heightened security, though there were no incidents. Police have said the shooting was believed to have been related to tensions between rival Richmond gangs, but prosecutors have not filed gang charges in the case.

A friend of Hall’s testified that he saw Davis at the club that night, but did not see who fired the shots. Testimony resumes today.

In the aftermath of the shootings and heavy media coverage, Supervisor David Chiu introduced legislation allowing the Entertainment Commission greater ability to revoke the permits of nightclubs such as Suede that have a history of violations. Neighbors in the area had long complained about violence, vandalism, noise and security problems at the club.

In October, a judge ordered Suede permanently closed, at the request of City Attorney Dennis Herrera.

The new permit revocation legislation was one of several initiatives giving the Entertainment Commission greater enforcement powers over problem clubs, commission Director Jocelyn Kane said.

“We were stymied by a lack of fine tools to use,” Kane said. “We didn’t have proper things to do for every incident; now we do.”

aburack@sfexaminer.com

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