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Tupac Shakur murder suspect fights to be released on house arrest

Duane ‘Keffe D’ Davis was arrested in September and charged with the rapper’s infamous 1996 murder in Las Vegas

Rachel Sharp
Tuesday 02 January 2024 10:51 GMT
Bodycam footage shows moment Tupac's suspected killer arrested

The former Crips gang member charged with the 1996 murder of Tupac Shakur is now fighting to be released on house arrest ahead of his high-profile trial.

In a bombshell development in the notorious cold case, Duane “Keffe D” Davis was arrested in September and charged with murder and the use of a deadly weapon almost three decades on from the rapper’s drive-by shooting.

Mr Davis has pleaded not guilty to the charges and has been held without bail in a Nevada jail ever since his arrest.

The 60-year-old accused killer is now scheduled to return to court on Tuesday where his attorneys will ask a judge to set his bail at no more than $100,000 and release him to house arrest.

His legal team claims he is in poor health, poses no danger to the community and is not a flight risk.

But, prosecutors are arguing against his release – claiming that the lives of witnesses in the infamous Las Vegas murder case will be put at risk if he is released.

In a court filing last Thursday, prosecutors Marc DiGiacomo and Binu Palal pointed to jailhouse phone calls in which a list of witnesses were allegedly given to Mr Davis’ family members.

In one call, the 60-year-old’s son allegedly told him that a “green light” order had been given.

“In [Davis’] world, a ‘green light’ is an authorization to kill,” prosecutors wrote.

“This caused enough concern that the federal government stepped in and provided resources to at least (one witness) so he could change his residence.”

Mr Davis is due to go on trial in June for Tupac’s murder which rumbled on unsolved for almost three decades.

Duane ‘Keffe D’ Davis in court in November (Las Vegas Sun)

Tupac was killed in a drive-by shooting while he sat in a car at an intersection near the Las Vegas strip on 7 September 1996.

Earlier that night, Tupac had gone to watch a Mike Tyson boxing match at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino on the strip with Suge Knight, the boss of his record label Death Row Records.

In the lobby of the hotel, Tupac attacked gangland rival Orlando “Baby Lane” Anderson in a beating that was captured on surveillance footage.

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.

Despite several witnesses on the scene of the shooting, no arrests were ever made and no one has ever charged prior to Mr Davis.

Anderson had long been the prime suspect – on suspicion of shooting Tupac out of revenge for the attack in the hotel.

However, Anderson – who is the nephew of Mr Davis – denied any involvement in the murder and was also killed two years later in a gang-related shooting in 1998.

Mr Davis, a 60-year-old former Southside Compton Crips gang member, has previously claimed to have been present at Tupac’s murder and knows who pulled the trigger.

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.

Tupac Shakur was murdered in 1996 (Eli Reed/Columbia/Kobal/Shutterstock)

“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.”

Movement began in the case in July, when Ms Davis’ home in Henderson was raided by Las Vegas police.

A string of evidence was seized from the property including five computers, tablets and an iPhone.

The warrant, which was obtained by CNN, stated that investigators searched for “items that tend to show evidence of motive and/or the identity of the perpetrator such as photographs or undeveloped film, insurance policies and letters, address and telephone records, diaries, and other documents…”

An affidavit filed to obtain the warrant stated that police were looking for “notes, writings, ledgers, and other handwritten or typed documents concerning television shows, documentaries, YouTube episodes, book manuscripts, and movies concerning the murder of Tupac Shakur.”

In addition to the electronics, investigators left the Henderson home with USB and hard drives, photographs, “purported marijuana,” a copy of Vibe magazine featuring Tupac, and a copy of the Compton Street Legends book written by Keffe D with Yusuf Jah.

A Nevada grand jury then indicted Mr Davis in the killing and he was arrested in September outside his home.

Prosecutors have describe Mr Davis as the “on-ground, on-site commander” who “ordered the death” of the rapper.

Meanwhile, Mr Davis’ defence team has claimed his comments about his apparent knowledge of the killing were “done for entertainment purposes and to make money” – and that he was given immunity from prosecution by both the FBI and police in 2008.

He faces life in prison if convicted.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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