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Audio obtained of Tupac Shakur murder suspect’s jailhouse call

In this Nov. 7, 2023 file photo Duane Keith “Keffe D” Davis looks on as he appears in Clark County District Court in Las Vegas. (Steve Marcus-Pool/Getty Images)

(NEW YORK) — In a newly obtained audio recording of a jailhouse phone call from the man charged with orchestrating the killing of Tupac Shakur, suspect Duane “Keffe D” Davis and his son can be heard discussing what prosecutors allege was a plot to harm their cooperating witnesses.


In a portion of the two-minute and 16-second audio recording, obtained by ABC News affiliate KTNV-TV, Davis can be heard in a conversation with his son, in which the term “green light” is used.

Prosecutors have claimed in court documents that “in [Davis’] world, a ‘green light’ is an authorization to kill.” which “caused enough concern that the Federal Government stepped in and provided resources to at least [one witness] so he could change his residence.”

On the call, Davis’ son can be heard saying he’s “got some s— to tell” his father.

“About what?” Davis asks.

“A bunch of some s— that’s going on,” his son replies.

When asked, “Where?” his son responds, “Around the city.”

“They talking about [inaudible] it’s a green light – talking about the, uh, our side,” his son adds.

“Our side? It’s a green light on our side?” Davis asks.

“Yeah, that’s what he told him, he said n—-, we was raised in war, we don’t give a f—,” his son answers.

“For wha – for this here?” Davis asks.

“B-Rue, yea … he’s saying that ‘it’s on,'” his son answers.

“Aw …” Davis responds.

Prosecutors included a partial transcript of the October call in their argument against Davis’ request for bail, as ABC previously reported.

Davis, through his lawyers, continues to deny the allegations.

ABC News was first to report that authorities are investigating Davis’ jail calls — and specifically, this one.

In their court filings and in comments to ABC News, Davis’ attorneys say prosecutors have misconstrued what was said on that call — that Davis was never planning to put a hit out on those cooperating in the case against him — rather, there was concern about word on the street that his own family was in danger.

In a statement to ABC News Wednesday regarding the audio, Davis’ lawyers held firm to that explanation of Davis’ communications.

“It is clear that in the phone call, our client Mr. Davis does not threaten any witnesses whatsoever,” Charles Cano and Robert Arroyo, chief deputy special public defenders for Clark County, told ABC News. “Our interpretation of that phone call is that his son was warning him about a threat towards him and / or his family.”

Davis, 60, currently remains in the Clark County Detention Center in Las Vegas, where he’s been held since his arrest on Sept. 29, 2023 in connection with Shakur’s murder. His trial date is set for June 3. He has pleaded not guilty.

Judge Carli Kierny set Davis’ bail at $750,000 last week — a sum far above what his lawyers had asked for in advocating for his release to house arrest, pending trial.

His lawyers had asked that their client be allowed to await trial while on house arrest — or that bail not exceed $100,000 — claiming their client is not a threat to the community nor a flight risk.

Shakur was killed in a Las Vegas drive-by shooting on Sept. 7, 1996 — a crime that has become one of the most infamous unsolved murders in modern American history.

Prosecutors allege that Davis was a feared gang member back in the 1990s and was the “shot caller” on the night when Shakur was gunned down while in the passenger seat of a stopped car by the Vegas Strip. According to prosecutors, Davis is now willing to play “shot caller” once again as he stands charged in connection with Tupac’s murder, and so he should remain locked up.

Davis’ own words have been crucial in the case against him. In his memoir and in interviews over the years, Davis has admitted to playing a key part in Tupac’s killing. His defense team says prosecutors have relied on testimony from witnesses “with questionable credibility” and excerpts from Davis’ book, which they say could have been penned by his co-author. Interviews Davis himself gave detailing his role in the shooting were “never verified” for their “truthfulness,” his lawyers said, adding that Davis’ media admissions were “done for entertainment purposes” and for financial gain.

In setting Davis’ high bail, Judge Kierny noted although no “explicit” threat was made on Davis’ jail calls, “they do cause the court concern.”

“When we talk about the nature and the seriousness of danger to any victims or other people in this case, as the state has indicated, this could be very high,” Judge Kierny said. “I don’t believe that the FBI is stepping in and providing coverage or assistance for people in situations where they don’t think it’s a credible threat.”

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