Ex-gang leader’s own words are strong evidence to deny bail in Tupac Shakur killing, prosecutors say

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LAS VEGAS (AP) — More than a decade of accounts by a former Los Angeles-area gang leader about orchestrating the killing of hip-hop music icon Tupac Shakur in 1996 are strong evidence to deny his release to house arrest ahead of his trial in June, prosecutors in Las Vegas said Thursday.

Duane “Keffe D” Davis “confessed over and over again that he is responsible for the murder of Tupac Shakur,” prosecutor Binu Palal wrote in a court filing to a state court judge who on Tuesday will hear Davis’ request to be released on no more than $100,000 bail.

“Now, finally, facing the consequences of his actions, (Davis) asks this court to ignore his words,” Palal and prosecutor Marc DiGiacomo said in the document. “Defendant was the shot-caller.”

DiGiacomo declined to comment after filing the bid to keep Davis in jail, which included more than 160 pages of written transcripts and a DVD with additional evidence.

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Davis’ court-appointed attorneys, Robert Arroyo and Charles Cano, argued in a bail request filed Dec. 19 that their 60-year-old client is not getting proper medical attention in jail following a colon cancer diagnosis that they said is in remission. They said Davis poses no danger to the community and won’t flee to avoid trial.

“His diet and lack of exercise in the jail, given his age and medical history, is negatively impacting his health,” the attorneys wrote.

Cano declined immediate comment on Thursday’s court filing, saying the defense team was reviewing it.

Davis has pleaded not guilty to a murder charge and has been ordered held without bail. His court filing says his descriptions in recent years of orchestrating the drive-by shooting that killed Shakur were “done for entertainment purposes and to make money.”

Palal and DiGiacomo said that even if Davis didn’t pull the trigger, he is responsible.

Davis asserts he was given immunity in a 2008 agreement with the FBI and Los Angeles police who were investigating both the killings of Shakur in Las Vegas on Sept. 7, 1996, and rival rapper Christopher Wallace six months later in Los Angeles. Wallace was known as The Notorious B.I.G. or Biggie Smalls.

The prosecutors and Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson say Davis incriminated himself during accounts to the joint federal and LAPD task force; to Las Vegas police in 2009; in an interview for a BET documentary in 2017; in his own tell-all book in 2019; and in more recent interviews.

The new court filing noted that the Las Vegas grand jury that indicted Davis in September did not hear about his 2009 interview with a Las Vegas police detective.

“Defendant shows little caution in confessing to his responsibility, and no remorse for conspiring to kill Shakur,” the prosecutors wrote, quoting Davis as boasting about incriminating himself to police, saying, “I told on myself.”

Davis, originally from Compton, California, was arrested Sept. 29 outside his suburban Henderson home where Las Vegas police served a search warrant July 17.

His attorneys noted in their bail motion that Davis did not leave town in the more than two months between the home raid and his indictment.

Their motion also said Davis’ 2019 memoir and various interviews should not be used against him, including those in which he described providing the gun used to shoot Shakur and wound rap music mogul Marion “Suge” Knight.

Knight, now 58, is serving 28 years in a California prison for the death of a Compton businessman in 2015.

Davis is the only person still alive who was in the vehicle from which shots were fired.

This story has been updated to correct that prosecutor Binu Palal wrote the court filing submitted with prosecutor Marc DiGiacomo.

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