Ex-gang Leader Facing Trial in Tupac Shakur Killing Seeking Release From Vegas Jail on $750K Bail

Ex-gang Leader Facing Trial in Tupac Shakur Killing Seeking Release From Vegas Jail on $750K Bail
Duane "Keffe D" Davis, who is accused of orchestrating the 1996 slaying of hip-hop icon Tupac Shakur, is led into the courtroom during a status hearing at the Regional Justice Center, in Las Vegas, on April 23, 2024. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal via AP)
The Associated Press
Updated:

LAS VEGAS—A former Los Angeles-area gang leader accused of killing rapper Tupac Shakur in 1996 in Las Vegas will ask a judge next week to let him out of jail to prepare for his trial on a murder charge.

Duane “Keffe D” Davis’ attorney filed documents Thursday and a judge scheduled a hearing Tuesday at which Davis will ask permission to post $750,000 bond to be freed to house arrest with electronic monitoring.

Davis’ defense attorney, Carl Arnold, and a spokesperson did not immediately respond Friday to email and telephone messages about the court filing.

Davis has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder and has remained jailed at the Clark County Detention Center in Las Vegas since his arrest last Sept. 29. His trial is scheduled Nov. 4. If convicted, he could spend the rest of his life in prison.

Prosecutors asked Clark County District Court Judge Carli Kierny to require a “source hearing” for Davis to demonstrate that any funds used to secure his release are obtained legally.

Representatives at Crum & Forster Insurance and North River Insurance Co., the Morristown, New Jersey-based backer of the bond identified in the court filing, did not respond Friday to telephone messages.

Davis is originally from Compton, California, but has lived in recent years with his wife and son in Henderson, a Las Vegas suburb.

He and prosecutors say he is the only person still alive among four people who were in a car from which shots were fired in the September 1996 shooting that killed Shakur and wounded rap mogul Marion “Suge” Knight at an intersection just off the Las Vegas Strip. Knight is serving 28 years in a California prison for an unrelated case, the use of a vehicle to kill a Los Angeles-area man in 2015.

In the 27 years since the Shakur killing, 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 at his Henderson home last July.

Prosecutors say they have strong evidence that Davis incriminated himself during police and media interviews since 2008, and in a 2019 tell-all memoir of his life leading a Compton street gang.

In the book, Davis wrote that he was promised immunity when he told 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’ word can’t be trusted and his accounts were told so he could make money.

“He himself is giving different stories,” Arnold told reporters outside a courtroom in April.

Arnold has said he does not expect Davis will testify at trial, but he intends to call Knight to testify. The defense attorney said police and prosecutors lack proof Davis was in Las Vegas at the time of Shakur’s killing and don’t have key evidence including the gun or car used during the shooting.

By Ken Ritter