Will ex-gang leader held in Tupac Shakur killing get house arrest with $750K bail? Judge to decide

Tuesday, June 25, 2024
Ex-gang leader accused in Tupac killing to remain behind bars for now
A Nevada judge did not immediately decide if a former Los Angeles-area gang leader will be freed from jail to house arrest ahead of his murder trial in the 1996 killing of Tupac Shakur.

LAS VEGAS -- A Nevada judge did not immediately decide Tuesday if a former Los Angeles-area gang leader will be freed from jail to house arrest ahead of his murder trial in the 1996 killing of hip-hop music legend Tupac Shakur in Las Vegas.

Clark County District Court Judge Carli Kierny said after hearing arguments that she will issue a decision at a later time. She indicated that she was not convinced to grant Duane "Keffe D" Davis' release.

"I don't really see where the money is coming from," she said, adding that a decision will come after she finishes a review of financial records.

The judge has said Davis - a self-described former leader of a Crips gang sect in the Los Angeles suburb of Compton, California - could be freed on $750,000 bond if he can demonstrate that funds used to secure his release were obtained legally.

Word of the investigation into what Duane "Keffe D" Davis meant in those conversations comes on the heels of a Las Vegas judge deciding to set his bail at $750,000 - a sum far above what his lawyers had asked for in advocating for his release to house arrest, pending trial.

Davis, now 61, has sought to be released since shortly after his arrest last September made him the only person ever charged with a crime in a killing that for 27 years has drawn intense interest and speculation.

Prosecutors allege the gunfire that killed Shakur stemmed from competition between East Coast members of a Bloods gang sect and West Coast groups of a Crips sect, including Davis, for dominance in a musical genre known at the time as "gangsta rap."

Davis' defense attorney, Carl Arnold, declined by telephone Monday to speak ahead of the hearing before Kierny in Las Vegas.

Representatives at Crum & Forster Insurance and North River Insurance Co., the Morristown, New Jersey-based backer of the bond identified in the court filing, have not responded to telephone messages from The Associated Press.

Davis told Kierny in court in February that backers were "hesitant to come in here and help me out on the bail because of the media and the circus that's going on."

Video shows the moment Las Vegas police arrested Duane "Keefe D" Davis, the self-described gangster arrested in the shooting death of rapper Tupac Shakur.

Kierny's decision in January to set a bail amount came after prosecutors and Davis' defense lawyers traded allegations about whether the word "green light" recorded by authorities monitoring an October jailhouse telephone conversation between Davis and his son was evidence of threats to witnesses in the case, or showed danger faced by Davis' family members.

Davis has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder. His trial is scheduled Nov. 4. If convicted, he could spend the rest of his life in prison. Public defenders who represented Davis before he hired Arnold said in December he wasn't getting proper medical care in jail following a bout with colon cancer that they said was in remission.

According to police, prosecutors and Davis' own accounts, he is the only person still alive among four people who were in a white Cadillac from which shots were fired in September 1996, mortally wounding Shakur and grazing rap mogul Marion "Suge" Knight at an intersection just off the Las Vegas Strip. Knight, now 59, is serving 28 years in a California prison for using a vehicle to kill a Los Angeles-area man in 2015.

Davis' nephew, Orlando "Baby Lane" Anderson, who was in the back seat of the Cadillac, denied involvement in Shakur's death and died in a May 1998 shooting in Compton. The other back seat passenger, DeAndre "Big Dre" or "Freaky" Smith, died in 2004. The driver, Terrence "Bubble Up" Brown, died in a 2015 shooting in Compton.

Davis has publicly described himself as the orchestrator of the shooting, but not the gunman. A renewed push by Las Vegas police to solve the case led to a search warrant and raid last July at his home in Henderson.

Prosecutors say they have strong evidence to convict Davis of murder based his own accounts during multiple police and media interviews since 2008 - and in a 2019 memoir of his life leading a Compton street gang.

In his book, Davis wrote he was promised immunity to tell authorities in Los Angeles what he knew about the fatal shootings of Shakur and rival rapper Christopher Wallace six months later in Los Angeles. Wallace was known as The Notorious B.I.G. or Biggie Smalls.

Arnold maintains that Davis told stories so he could make money, and that police and prosecutors in Nevada lack key evidence including the gun, the Cadillac and proof that Davis was in Las Vegas at the time of the shooting.