On Tuesday, a judge decided that a former gang leader from the Los Angeles area accused of planning the murder of rapper Tupac Shakur in 1996 must pay $750,000 for bail and can be on house arrest with electronic supervision until his trial in June.
Attorneys assigned by the court for Duane “Keffe D” Davis stated to the Associated Press following the hearing in Las Vegas that they are confident he can meet the requirements for bail. They had requested a bail amount of no more than $100,000.
The attorneys claimed in a legal document submitted to the court one day prior that their defendant, rather than witnesses as stated by the prosecution, is at risk. Additionally, they assert that their client, who is 60 years old and previously battled cancer, is currently in poor health but is not a flight risk to evade trial.
After the hearing on Tuesday, public defender Robert Arroyo stated that he believes the individual is able to post bail.
The lawyers accused prosecutors of misinterpreting a jail telephone recording and a list of names provided to Davis’s family members, and of misreporting to the judge that Davis poses a threat to the public if he were released.
According to attorneys Arroyo and Charles Cano, who are representing Davis, he did not make any threats during the phone calls. In their seven-page document submitted on Monday, they also argued that the prosecution’s understanding of the term “green light” is incorrect.
The mention of a “green light” comes from a recording of a jail phone call in October, which was given to Judge Carli Kierny by prosecutors Marc DiGiacomo and Binu Palal during a bail hearing last month.
The document submitted by the prosecution did not mention Davis giving instructions to harm someone or anyone involved in the case being physically harmed. However, the prosecutors also stated that Davis considers a “green light” to be permission to kill.
“Duane’s son was saying he heard there was a greenlight on Duane’s family,” Davis’s attorneys wrote, using his first name. “Duane obviously did not know what his son was talking about.”
On Monday, Davis’s attorneys brought up his first name and implored Kierny to take into account what they dubbed as “the glaring question”.
“Why did it take the police and prosecutors 15 years to arrest Duane for the murder of Tupac Shakur, if the evidence against him is so strong and he is considered to be such a dangerous individual?”
The prosecutors use Davis’s statements from 2008 onwards – during police interviews, in his 2019 memoir, and through media outlets – as compelling proof that he planned the shooting in September 1996.
Davis’s lawyers claim that his accounts of Shakur’s murder were “intended for entertainment and financial gain”.
Davis, originally from Compton, California, is the only person still alive who was in the car from which shots were fired in the drive-by shooting that also wounded rap music mogul Marion “Suge” Knight. Knight is now serving 28 years in a California prison for an unrelated fatal shooting in the Los Angeles area in 2015.
On Monday, Davis’s lawyers pointed out that Knight witnessed the shooting of Shakur, but did not give testimony to the grand jury that charged Davis before his arrest on September 29th at his Henderson residence. In mid-July, the Las Vegas police executed a search warrant at the house.
Davis has entered a plea of not guilty for the charge of murder and is currently being held without the option of bail at the Clark County Detention Center in Las Vegas. In this facility, it is standard practice for phone calls made by detainees to be recorded. If found guilty during the trial, he could potentially face a lifetime behind bars.
Davis claims that he was granted immunity from being prosecuted in 2008 by a joint task force consisting of the FBI and the Los Angeles police. This task force was looking into the murders of Shakur in Las Vegas and rival rapper Christopher Wallace, also known as the Notorious BIG or Biggie Smalls, six months later in Los Angeles.
According to DiGiacomo and Palal, the immunity agreement was restricted. They recently presented an audio recording from a taskforce interview on December 18, 2008 to the court. In the recording, they stated that Davis was informed that his statements in the room would not be used against him, but if he were to speak to others, it could potentially harm him.
Davis’s lawyers replied on Monday, citing a book published 12 years ago by former Los Angeles police detective Greg Kading, who was present at the interviews.
According to the attorneys, Duane is not concerned about his supposed role in Shakur’s death as it has been widely known since 2011.