Sunday, July 14, 2024

Keffe D Testifies About Bail Money Controversy

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The self-described Crips “street legend” charged with the 1996 murder of hip-hop superstar Tupac Shakur was denied immediate release to house arrest on Tuesday after a judge expressed concern that the six-figure down payment being used to secure his $750,000 bond was tied to a deal to tell his story.

Duane “Keffe D” Davis has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder in the case. He appeared before Clark County District Court Judge Carli Kierny in Las Vegas and testified in person about the $112,500 he hoped to use as the non-refundable deposit for his bond. He said the money was coming directly from music manager Cash “Wack100” Jones in a legitimate transaction, claiming he previously lied when he told his wife during a recorded jail visit two weeks ago that Jones was a “front” for someone with a movie company.

The source of the cash is important because Judge Kierny has said it can’t come from a transaction where Davis benefits from talking about the drive-by shooting that led to Shakur’s death. “I’m left with more questions than answers,” Judge Kierny said after the hour-long hearing. “I don’t find the defense has met their burden… to show that the bail is not connected to Mr. Davis ultimately talking about Mr. Shakur’s murder.” She said a final ruling on the proposed bail source would come after she reviewed bank records submitted by Jones.

Davis testified Tuesday that he was desperate to get out of jail with house arrest and electronic monitoring because his health is at risk and he need to prepare for his upcoming trial, currently scheduled for early November. He cited his prior colon cancer diagnosis and suggested his prognosis has deteriorated since his arrest last year.

“I’ve got cancer, and I’m in here eating all processed food,” Davis told the court Tuesday. “They don’t sell no fruit, it’s just terrible. Fake potatoes, fake milk, fake everything. It ain’t good for an ex-cancer patient. And now I got it again.” He said that after a scan at a Nevada hospital in May, he was referred to a cancer specialist for follow-up care. He said the cancer doctor ordered follow-up testing, and he’s still waiting for that.

He said his health woes caused him to lie to his wife when she expressed concern about Jones being the source of the down payment on his bail. “I would say anything to save my life.”

According to prosecutors, Jones only agreed to cough up the $112,500 under a deal that will somehow exploit the story of Tupac’s death. To make their case, they played a jail call between Jones and Davis during the hearing. “My thing is, fuck the movie shit, takes too long. We get to that later. Let’s do the series, you know what I’m saying?” Jones was heard telling Davis, suggesting they could finish 10 episodes before the end of Davis’ trial. “Let’s start with you as a youth, you know, your teenage years. Show, you know, the rise.” He said the project could touch on Davis’ knowledge of everyone from his late nephew Orlando “Baby Lane” Anderson, the suspected shooter in Shakur’s death, to Sean “Diddy” Combs, Christopher “Notorious B.I.G.” Wallace and Death Row Records founder Suge Knight. “We got at least 30 [to] 40 episodes,” Jones says on the call. The recording played for the court ended with Jones asking Davis to “sign” something.

Jones appeared by zoom for the hearing and testified that he was offering the $112,500 with no guarantee of a business relationship with Davis, only the hope they might work together after trial. “Do you have anything in writing that states that you will derive any benefit from Keffe D’s release and his story?,” Davis’ defense lawyer Carl Arnold asked Jones. “No, I don’t,” Jones replied.

Prosecutors said the testimony from Jones and Davis amounted to “fraud.” They pointed to the June 14 jail visit between Davis and his wife, playing a portion of the recording for the court. “Cash [Jones] ain’t got no damn money to get me out,” Davis is heard telling his wife over the recorded line. “[It’s] the Jewish man that own the fucking movie company. Cash ain’t got no fucking money to own no fucking movie company. …They just using him as a front, so it won’t look like they did it, you know what I’m saying?”

In his direct testimony to the court, Davis claimed that he lied to his wife because he thought he needed her to sign something related to his bond, and she didn’t trust Jones. “I was just telling her [that] to throw her the fuck off, get her off my back,” Davis testified. “I said [Jones] had no money like that… just so she could sign the fucking bond and leave as is.”

Davis, 61, was living with his wife and son in the Las Vegas suburb of Henderson when he was arrested last September. According to his indictment, he orchestrated Shakur’s murder and provided the .40-caliber Glock that also wounded Knight during the shooting just off the famed Vegas strip.


In a 2019 memoir, Davis wrote about his rise through the ranks of the South Side Crips and acknowledged the existence of a 2009 federal agreement that he signed as part of an interstate drug case in Los Angeles. The proffer agreement, which helped him in his narcotics case, allowed him to speak about his alleged role in Shakur’s shooting without the threat his statements could be used against him. Prosecutors say his subsequent statements about the shooting and his immunity agreement are fair game and highly incriminating.

Davis’ lawyer, Carl Arnold, has said his client gave the media interviews to make money, so they’re not reliable for the purposes of a criminal case. “He himself is giving different stories,” Arnold told the Associated Press after a hearing in April. The lawyer said prosecutors lack proof Davis was even in Las Vegas at the time of Shakur’s shooting.

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