(LAS VEGAS) — A judge set bail at $750,000 for the one-time gang member charged in connection with the murder of Tupac Shakur.
Judge Carli Kierny also ruled that the suspect — Duane “Keffe D” Davis — can await trial under house arrest with electronic monitoring if able to post bail.
Davis, 60, has been held without bail in the Clark County Detention Center in Las Vegas since his arrest on Sept. 29, 2023. He was charged with open murder with use of a deadly weapon with a gang enhancement in connection with the 1996 drive-by killing of Tupac.
During a hearing Tuesday addressing the defense’s request for release or reasonable bail, attorney Robert Arroyo argued that Davis was not a danger to the community, has been earning an honest living and “if he was going to run he would have did it” years ago.
“If Duane is so dangerous, if this case is so overwhelming, his guilt is so overwhelming … why did [authorities] wait 15 years to make the arrest?” Arroyo said.
Davis’ lawyers had asked that bail not exceed $100,000.
Prosecutors meanwhile claimed that Davis “presents a very, very high danger to the community,” in particular to witnesses who might testify against him at trial, and asked for no bail or a high bail. They had cited an October conversation between Davis and his son in which the pair used the term “green light,” which they allege is “authorization to kill.”
Davis’ lawyers claim prosecutors misconstrued what was said on those calls — that Davis was never planning to put a hit out on those cooperating in the case against him — rather, he was concerned there was word on the street that his own family was in danger.
Kierny said there were several factors to consider, including his length of residence in Henderson, Nevada, and a close relationship with his family, before issuing her decision on bail and house arrest.
Pending posting bail, Davis remains in the Clark County Detention Center.
Clark County District Attorney Steven Wolfson, whose office is prosecuting the case, told reporters he respected the judge’s decision and that she was “conscientious and thorough” in reaching it.
“We believe he is still a danger to the community, he is a danger to some of the witnesses and others,” Wolfson said. “My prosecutors argued just that, and I believe the judge agreed with our arguments today.”
Davis has pleaded not guilty. His next court appearance, a status conference, has been scheduled for Feb. 20.
His trial date is set for June 3.
The Clark County District Attorney’s Office alleges that the suspect was a feared gang member back in the 1990s and was the “shot caller” on the night of Sept. 7, 1996, when Shakur was gunned down while in the passenger seat of a stopped car by the Vegas Strip.
Until Davis’ arrest, no charges had ever been filed, and the case remained cold for nearly 30 years. Prosecutors allege though Davis did not pull the trigger, he was in the shooter’s car on that night and orchestrated Shakur’s death.
Davis claims to be one of two living witnesses, along with former Death Row Records CEO Suge Knight, to the Vegas shooting that killed the rapper, according to a search warrant released by police.
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