Jail call recording ‘shows risk to witnesses in Tupac Shakur killing case’

A Nevada court filing urged the judge to keep Duane “Keffe D” Davis behind bars until trial, alleging that a list of witnesses was given to Davis family members, and that his son told the defendant during a recorded jail telephone call that a “green light” order had been given.

“In (Davis’s) world, a ‘green light’ is an authorisation to kill,” prosecutors Marc DiGiacomo and Binu Palal said in the court filing.

Tupac Shakur death
Duane “Keffe D” Davis is charged with the murder of Tupac Shakur (Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department/AP)

“This caused enough concern that the federal government stepped in and provided resources to at least (one witness) so he could change his residence,” the prosecutors wrote, calling the October 9 call evidence of “credible threats to witnesses (that) demonstrate both a consciousness of guilt and that the defendant poses a danger to the community”.

There is no reference in the court filing to Davis instructing anyone to harm anyone or to anyone associated with the case being physically harmed.

One of Davis’s court-appointed lawyers, Robert Arroyo, said he and co-counsel Charles Cano were reviewing the prosecution allegations and intend to respond in court on Tuesday. A hearing is scheduled on Davis’s request to post 100,000 dollar (£78,000) bail and remain under house arrest until his trial in June.

“However, after our initial review of the phone call in question, we fail to see when (witnesses) were mentioned, let alone threatened,” Mr Arroyo said.

Tupac Investigation Las Vegas
Duane “Keffe D” Davis at Clark County District Court (Steve Marcus/Las Vegas Sun/AP)

Mr Arroyo and Mr Cano argued in a bail request filed on December 19 that Davis, 60, poses no danger to the community, would not flee to avoid trial and is not getting proper medical attention in jail after a colon cancer diagnosis which they said is in remission.

Davis is originally from Compton, California. He was arrested on September 29 outside a suburban home in Henderson where Las Vegas police had served a search warrant on July 17.

He pleaded not guilty in November to a murder charge and is being held without bail at Clark County Detention Centre in Las Vegas, where detainee phone calls are routinely recorded. He could spend the rest of his life in prison if convicted.

In Thursday’s court filing, Mr DiGiacomo and Mr Palal told Clark County District Court Judge Carli Kierny that, by his own descriptions, Davis was “the shot-caller” in the shooting of Shakur and he should remain jailed.

Tupac Investigation Las Vegas
Clark County chief deputy district attorney Marc DiGiacomo (KM Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal/AP)

The prosecutors cited what they called multiple “confessions” since 2008 — in police interviews, in Davis’s 2019 tell-all memoir and in the media — that he orchestrated the September 1996 drive-by shooting at a traffic light near the Las Vegas Strip that killed Shakur and wounded rap music mogul Marion “Suge” Knight.

Knight, 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. He asserts he was given immunity in a 2008 agreement with the FBI and Los Angeles police who were investigating the killings of Shakur in Las Vegas and rival rapper Christopher Wallace – known as The Notorious BIG – in March 1997 in Los Angeles.

Davis’s lawyers argue that his accounts were “done for entertainment purposes and to make money”.

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