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Monday, July 1, 2024 | Back issues
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Judge punts decision on bail in Tupac murder case

The lawyer for the man accused in the murder of Tupac Shakur said his client is a liar — including about his involvement in the rapper's death.

LAS VEGAS (CN) — The question of why someone fronted bail money to the suspect in rapper Tupac Shakur's murder — and whether doing so violates Nevada's prohibition on profiting from crime — took center stage at a hearing Tuesday, raising even more questions for the judge to wade through.

In September 1996, someone shot and killed hip-hop artist Tupac Shakur in Las Vegas.

Since then, Duane "Keffe D" Davis has gained notoriety by claiming he was involved. His attention-drawing accounts of the murder led to his arrest in September 2023. Now, Davis' thirst for the spotlight might keep him behind bars.

In interviews and a 2019 memoir, Davis said he was in the car that pulled up beside Shakur. He claims his nephew, Orlando "Baby Lane" Anderson, shot and fatally wounded the rapper.

Las Vegas prosecutors charged Davis on a single count of murder with use of a deadly weapon. This past January, Judge Carli Kierney set bail at $750,000.

Six months later, music manager Cash Jones — also known as Wack 100 — paid $112,000 to a bail bondsman for Davis' release. However, prosecutors say Jones gave Davis the bail money in exchange for the right to produce a series about Davis' life — a deal that would violate Nevada's law barring "profit or benefit from wrong."

In sworn testimony, Jones said no such deal existed. The bail money, Jones claims, was a gift.

However, prosecutors played recordings of an interview Jones gave on VladTV and a jailhouse phone call between Jones and Davis. In both recordings, Jones spoke about the prospect of a creating a series with Davis — even claiming on VladTV that the series would be a "stipulation" of him paying bail.

Jones downplayed the interview with VladTV, saying his comments were made up to nab views.

"It's a shame that the world takes what we vlog about as real," Jones said.

Although Jones emphasized there were no preconditions for the bail, he acknowledged he did want to "plant seeds" of the idea of working with Davis in the future.

Davis' lawyer Carl Arnold emphasized that this is not the first time Jones has fronted a suspect's bail.

"He has given bail to other people that have been in custody," Arnold said. "He's more concerned about the community image, and that this guy can get an opportunity to be outside, put on a suit and tie, and be able to get ready for this trial."

Prosecutors also played audio of a jailhouse conversation between Davis and his wife. In the audio, Davis claims Jones is just acting as a middle-man between a Hollywood producer and himself.

“He don't have that type of money," Davis said in the recording. "They're just using him as a front."

When asked about this comment, Davis said his wife’s family dislikes Jones and that he believed he needed his wife’s signature to accept the bail money.

Davis said that as a cancer survivor, he was concerned about the effect the prison food was having on his health and that it might cause his cancer to return. He lied about Jones' involvement to get his wife to cooperate.

“I would say anything to save my life,” Davis said.

The prosecution used those words against Davis as the hearing came to a close. Either Davis was lying then or is lying now, prosecutors said, and that either way he can’t be trusted not to benefit from the crime.

However, Davis' reputation as a liar is the core of his defense.

"Didn't I tell you that my client's a liar? He lied to his wife. He's lying now to the websites about everything that he did," Arnold said. "I told you, he's a notorious liar."

Judge Kierney said she had to review bank documents Jones submitted to prove that the bail money was not provided by an outside source. She expressed doubt that the documents would satisfy all her concerns, saying that the hearing left her "more questions than answers."

Kierney said she would issue an order on bail in the near future.

Categories / Courts, Criminal, Entertainment

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