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Judge considering if ex-gang leader held in Tupac Shakur killing gets house arrest on $750K bail

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Judge considering if ex-gang leader held in Tupac Shakur killing gets house arrest on $750K bail
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Judge considering if ex-gang leader held in Tupac Shakur killing gets house arrest on $750K bail

2024-06-26 11:15 Last Updated At:11:20

LAS VEGAS (AP) — A Nevada judge said Tuesday she wasn't immediately convinced of the legality of an effort by a hip-hop music figure to underwrite a $750,000 bond to free a former Los Angeles-area gang leader from jail ahead of his murder trial in the 1996 killing of hip-hop music legend Tupac Shakur in Las Vegas.

Clark County District Court Judge Carli Kierny expressed doubts after hearing arguments about granting Duane “Keffe D” Davis’ release to house arrest with electronic monitoring, but said she would review financial records submitted by his benefactor — Cash Jones, a music record executive who has managed performers such as rappers The Game and Blueface. In recent years, he’s gotten into street fights and made controversial comments about the late Tupac Shakur and Nipsey Hussle.

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FILE - Rapper Tupac Shakur attends a voter registration event in South Central Los Angeles, Aug. 15, 1996. A Nevada judge is being asked to decide Tuesday, June 25, 2024, if a former Los Angeles-area gang leader will be freed from jail to house arrest ahead of his murder trial in the 1996 killing of hip-hop music legend Tupac Shakur. (AP Photo/Frank Wiese, File)

LAS VEGAS (AP) — A Nevada judge said Tuesday she wasn't immediately convinced of the legality of an effort by a hip-hop music figure to underwrite a $750,000 bond to free a former Los Angeles-area gang leader from jail ahead of his murder trial in the 1996 killing of hip-hop music legend Tupac Shakur in Las Vegas.

Duane "Keffe D" Davis, who is accused of orchestrating the 1996 slaying of hip-hop icon Tupac Shakur, arrives in court at the Regional Justice Center in Las Vegas, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal via AP, Pool)

Duane "Keffe D" Davis, who is accused of orchestrating the 1996 slaying of hip-hop icon Tupac Shakur, arrives in court at the Regional Justice Center in Las Vegas, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal via AP, Pool)

Carl Arnold, attorney for Duane "Keffe D" Davis, who is accused of orchestrating the 1996 slaying of hip-hop icon Tupac Shakur, speaks during a news conference after court at the Regional Justice Center in Las Vegas, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal via AP, Pool)

Carl Arnold, attorney for Duane "Keffe D" Davis, who is accused of orchestrating the 1996 slaying of hip-hop icon Tupac Shakur, speaks during a news conference after court at the Regional Justice Center in Las Vegas, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal via AP, Pool)

Duane "Keffe D" Davis, who is accused of orchestrating the 1996 slaying of hip-hop icon Tupac Shakur, right, talks to his attorney, Carl Arnold, in court at the Regional Justice Center in Las Vegas, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal via AP, Pool)

Duane "Keffe D" Davis, who is accused of orchestrating the 1996 slaying of hip-hop icon Tupac Shakur, right, talks to his attorney, Carl Arnold, in court at the Regional Justice Center in Las Vegas, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal via AP, Pool)

Duane "Keffe D" Davis, who is accused of orchestrating the 1996 slaying of hip-hop icon Tupac Shakur, center, waits to appear in court at the Regional Justice Center in Las Vegas, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal via AP, Pool)

Duane "Keffe D" Davis, who is accused of orchestrating the 1996 slaying of hip-hop icon Tupac Shakur, center, waits to appear in court at the Regional Justice Center in Las Vegas, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal via AP, Pool)

Carl Arnold, attorney for Duane "Keffe D" Davis, who is accused of orchestrating the 1996 slaying of hip-hop icon Tupac Shakur, speaks in court at the Regional Justice Center in Las Vegas, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal via AP, Pool)

Carl Arnold, attorney for Duane "Keffe D" Davis, who is accused of orchestrating the 1996 slaying of hip-hop icon Tupac Shakur, speaks in court at the Regional Justice Center in Las Vegas, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal via AP, Pool)

Clark County District Court Judge Carli Kierny presides during at the Regional Justice Center in Las Vegas, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal via AP, Pool)

Clark County District Court Judge Carli Kierny presides during at the Regional Justice Center in Las Vegas, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal via AP, Pool)

Duane "Keffe D" Davis, who is accused of orchestrating the 1996 slaying of hip-hop icon Tupac Shakur, listens as Cash Jones testifies via video in court at the Regional Justice Center in Las Vegas, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. Jones put up the bail for Davis. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal via AP, Pool)

Duane "Keffe D" Davis, who is accused of orchestrating the 1996 slaying of hip-hop icon Tupac Shakur, listens as Cash Jones testifies via video in court at the Regional Justice Center in Las Vegas, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. Jones put up the bail for Davis. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal via AP, Pool)

Duane "Keffe D" Davis, who is accused of orchestrating the 1996 slaying of hip-hop icon Tupac Shakur, arrives in court at the Regional Justice Center in Las Vegas, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal via AP, Pool)

Duane "Keffe D" Davis, who is accused of orchestrating the 1996 slaying of hip-hop icon Tupac Shakur, arrives in court at the Regional Justice Center in Las Vegas, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal via AP, Pool)

The judge promised to post a brief description of her decision in the court record. She did not say when.

Davis' attorney, Carl Arnold, told reporters outside court that he hoped for a decision later Tuesday. Prosecutors Binu Palal and Marc DiGiacomo declined to comment.

Jones, who uses the moniker “Wack 100," offered sworn testimony by internet video link from an unspecified place in California. Under questioning by Arnold, Jones said he paid 15% of the bail amount, or $112,500, as “a gift” from his business accounts to secure Davis' release.

“I know him in passing,” Jones said of Davis, a 61-year-old self-described head of a Crips gang sect in the Los Angeles suburb of Compton who has been held at the Clark County Detention Center since his arrest last September. Davis and his attorneys have said he isn’t getting proper medical care in jail following treatment before his arrest for colon cancer.

“I know his son," Jones said of Davis. "We talked a few times. I know he's having an issue with his health.”

“He’s always been a monumental person in our community,” Jones added during questioning by Palal. “Especially the urban community.”

Asked by the prosecutor if he had any contract or financial agreement with Davis for a television or movie deal based on Davis' self-described gang life and role in the killing of Shakur, Jones twice said, “Not as of yet.”

Nevada has a law sometimes called a “slayer statute” that prohibits convicted killers from profiting from their crime. Jailhouse visits and telephone calls are also routinely recorded.

The prosecutor played clips from a VladTV social media interview in which Jones told his interviewer he would bail Davis out of jail “in return for an agreement to do a series on Mr. Davis' life." Palal asked Jones to explain.

“That's what I said to Vlad,” Jones responded, noting that he was paid for the interview to draw viewers. “There's nothing about Vlad, nothing about YouTube, that says you have to be truthful.”

Palal also played a recording of a jailhouse phone call in which Jones describes to Davis a plan to produce “30 to 40 episodes” of a television show based on his life story.

“We talking business. I'm telling you what my idea is," Jones says. “You gotta remember bro, this (expletive) can set you up for the rest of your life.”

Palal told the judge that Jones intended to profit from Davis' story.

“Mr. Davis is getting the benefits from retelling his story in the killing of Mr. Shakur. As a result, Mr. Jones, in order to benefit from that, is paying the bail bond company,” the prosecutor said. “Although it's convoluted, it's clear that a fraud is being perpetrated on this court. One way or another ... it is an illegal benefit, profiting from this crime."

The judge ended the 45-minute hearing saying she was “left with more questions than answers.” But she agreed to review Jones' financial records.

Davis has sought to be released since shortly after his arrest last September made him the only person ever charged with a crime in a killing that for 27 years has drawn intense interest and speculation.

Davis told Kierny in court in February that backers were “hesitant to come in here and help me out on the bail because of the media and the circus that’s going on.”

Prosecutors allege the gunfire that killed Shakur stemmed from competition between East Coast members of a Bloods gang sect and West Coast groups of a Crips sect, including Davis, for dominance in a musical genre known at the time as “gangsta rap.”

Davis has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder. His trial is scheduled Nov. 4. If convicted, he could spend the rest of his life in prison.

According to police, prosecutors and Davis’ own accounts, he is the only person still alive among four people who were in a white Cadillac from which shots were fired in September 1996, mortally wounding Shakur and grazing rap mogul Marion “Suge” Knight at an intersection just off the Las Vegas Strip. Knight, now 59, is serving 28 years in a California prison for using a vehicle to kill a Los Angeles-area man in 2015.

Davis has publicly described himself as the orchestrator of the shooting, but not the gunman. A renewed push by Las Vegas police to solve the case led to a search warrant and raid last July at his home in Henderson.

Prosecutors say they have strong evidence to convict Davis of murder based his own accounts during multiple police and media interviews since 2008 — and in a 2019 memoir of his life leading a Compton street gang.

In his book, Davis wrote he was promised immunity to tell authorities in Los Angeles what he knew about the fatal shootings of Shakur and rival rapper Christopher Wallace six months later in Los Angeles. Wallace was known as The Notorious B.I.G. or Biggie Smalls.

Arnold maintains that Davis told stories so he could make money and that police and prosecutors in Nevada lack key evidence including the gun, the Cadillac and proof that Davis was in Las Vegas at the time of the shooting.

FILE - Rapper Tupac Shakur attends a voter registration event in South Central Los Angeles, Aug. 15, 1996. A Nevada judge is being asked to decide Tuesday, June 25, 2024, if a former Los Angeles-area gang leader will be freed from jail to house arrest ahead of his murder trial in the 1996 killing of hip-hop music legend Tupac Shakur. (AP Photo/Frank Wiese, File)

FILE - Rapper Tupac Shakur attends a voter registration event in South Central Los Angeles, Aug. 15, 1996. A Nevada judge is being asked to decide Tuesday, June 25, 2024, if a former Los Angeles-area gang leader will be freed from jail to house arrest ahead of his murder trial in the 1996 killing of hip-hop music legend Tupac Shakur. (AP Photo/Frank Wiese, File)

Duane "Keffe D" Davis, who is accused of orchestrating the 1996 slaying of hip-hop icon Tupac Shakur, arrives in court at the Regional Justice Center in Las Vegas, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal via AP, Pool)

Duane "Keffe D" Davis, who is accused of orchestrating the 1996 slaying of hip-hop icon Tupac Shakur, arrives in court at the Regional Justice Center in Las Vegas, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal via AP, Pool)

Carl Arnold, attorney for Duane "Keffe D" Davis, who is accused of orchestrating the 1996 slaying of hip-hop icon Tupac Shakur, speaks during a news conference after court at the Regional Justice Center in Las Vegas, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal via AP, Pool)

Carl Arnold, attorney for Duane "Keffe D" Davis, who is accused of orchestrating the 1996 slaying of hip-hop icon Tupac Shakur, speaks during a news conference after court at the Regional Justice Center in Las Vegas, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal via AP, Pool)

Duane "Keffe D" Davis, who is accused of orchestrating the 1996 slaying of hip-hop icon Tupac Shakur, right, talks to his attorney, Carl Arnold, in court at the Regional Justice Center in Las Vegas, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal via AP, Pool)

Duane "Keffe D" Davis, who is accused of orchestrating the 1996 slaying of hip-hop icon Tupac Shakur, right, talks to his attorney, Carl Arnold, in court at the Regional Justice Center in Las Vegas, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal via AP, Pool)

Duane "Keffe D" Davis, who is accused of orchestrating the 1996 slaying of hip-hop icon Tupac Shakur, center, waits to appear in court at the Regional Justice Center in Las Vegas, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal via AP, Pool)

Duane "Keffe D" Davis, who is accused of orchestrating the 1996 slaying of hip-hop icon Tupac Shakur, center, waits to appear in court at the Regional Justice Center in Las Vegas, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal via AP, Pool)

Carl Arnold, attorney for Duane "Keffe D" Davis, who is accused of orchestrating the 1996 slaying of hip-hop icon Tupac Shakur, speaks in court at the Regional Justice Center in Las Vegas, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal via AP, Pool)

Carl Arnold, attorney for Duane "Keffe D" Davis, who is accused of orchestrating the 1996 slaying of hip-hop icon Tupac Shakur, speaks in court at the Regional Justice Center in Las Vegas, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal via AP, Pool)

Clark County District Court Judge Carli Kierny presides during at the Regional Justice Center in Las Vegas, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal via AP, Pool)

Clark County District Court Judge Carli Kierny presides during at the Regional Justice Center in Las Vegas, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal via AP, Pool)

Duane "Keffe D" Davis, who is accused of orchestrating the 1996 slaying of hip-hop icon Tupac Shakur, listens as Cash Jones testifies via video in court at the Regional Justice Center in Las Vegas, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. Jones put up the bail for Davis. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal via AP, Pool)

Duane "Keffe D" Davis, who is accused of orchestrating the 1996 slaying of hip-hop icon Tupac Shakur, listens as Cash Jones testifies via video in court at the Regional Justice Center in Las Vegas, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. Jones put up the bail for Davis. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal via AP, Pool)

Duane "Keffe D" Davis, who is accused of orchestrating the 1996 slaying of hip-hop icon Tupac Shakur, arrives in court at the Regional Justice Center in Las Vegas, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal via AP, Pool)

Duane "Keffe D" Davis, who is accused of orchestrating the 1996 slaying of hip-hop icon Tupac Shakur, arrives in court at the Regional Justice Center in Las Vegas, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal via AP, Pool)

PLAINFIELD, Vt. (AP) — Vermont is seeking an assessment to determine whether last week’s flooding, which damaged homes, knocked down bridges and washed out roads, qualifies for a federal disaster declaration and aid.

The flooding from the remnants of Hurricane Beryl happened a year after the state experienced catastrophic flooding that left some victims still awaiting home buyouts or repairs.

“We know this storm has done tremendous damage in many communities, and those impacted will need help to recover," Gov. Phil Scott said in a statement Saturday. “That’s why it’s so critical for Vermonters to report their damage to help us demonstrate the need for these federal resources.”

Two people were killed by the flooding, including a motorist in Lyndonville and a man who was riding an all-terrain vehicle in Peacham, authorities said.

Some of the hardest-hit riverside communities were Barre, Hardwick, Lyndonville, Moretown and Plainfield, but the estimated $15 million in damage to roads and other public infrastructure was more widespread. Damage assessments will be done in eight of Vermont's 14 counties. A public assistance disaster declaration would provide 75% reimbursement to communities for responding to and repairing public infrastructure damaged by the storm, the governor said.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency must verify at least $1.1 million in response and public infrastructure recovery costs for the state to qualify for a major disaster declaration, according to Scott. For counties to qualify, they must show damages of $4.60 per capita, Scott's office said.

An individual assistance declaration would give some financial assistance to homeowners and renters for property losses, the governor said. They are encouraged to report property losses by calling 211 or visiting www.vermont211.org.

Even though Vermont is an inland state, it's suffered damage from tropical storm systems. In 2011, Tropical Storm Irene dumped 11 inches (28 centimeters) of rain on parts of the state in 24 hours. The storm killed six in the state, washed homes off their foundations and damaged or destroyed more than 200 bridges and 500 miles (800 kilometers) of highway.

In May, Vermont became the first state to enact a law requiring fossil fuel companies to pay a share of the damage caused by extreme weather fanned by climate change. But officials acknowledged last week that collecting any money will depend on litigation against a much-better-resourced oil industry.

Signs are displayed outside the town hall, Sunday, July 14, 2024, in Plainfield, Vt., a community that had some of the worst damage in last week's flooding. (AP Photo/Lisa Rathke)

Signs are displayed outside the town hall, Sunday, July 14, 2024, in Plainfield, Vt., a community that had some of the worst damage in last week's flooding. (AP Photo/Lisa Rathke)

FILE - The remains of an eight unit apartment building that locals call the Heartbreak Hotel are in Plainfield, Vermont, on July 12, 2024, after flood waters and debris caused by the aftermath of Hurricane Beryl pulled several of the apartments into the Great Brook waterway. Vermont is seeking a federal assessment to determine whether last week’s flooding, which damaged homes, knocked out bridges and washed out roads, qualifies for a federal disaster declaration and aid. (AP Photo/Ted Shaffrey, file)

FILE - The remains of an eight unit apartment building that locals call the Heartbreak Hotel are in Plainfield, Vermont, on July 12, 2024, after flood waters and debris caused by the aftermath of Hurricane Beryl pulled several of the apartments into the Great Brook waterway. Vermont is seeking a federal assessment to determine whether last week’s flooding, which damaged homes, knocked out bridges and washed out roads, qualifies for a federal disaster declaration and aid. (AP Photo/Ted Shaffrey, file)

FILE - An overwhelmed residents surveys the damage following flooding caused by the remnants of Hurricane Beryl, July 11, 2024, in Plainfield, Vt. Vermont is seeking a federal assessment to determine whether last week’s flooding, which damaged homes, knocked out bridges and washed out roads, qualifies for a federal disaster declaration and aid. (AP Photo/Dmitry Belyakov, file)

FILE - An overwhelmed residents surveys the damage following flooding caused by the remnants of Hurricane Beryl, July 11, 2024, in Plainfield, Vt. Vermont is seeking a federal assessment to determine whether last week’s flooding, which damaged homes, knocked out bridges and washed out roads, qualifies for a federal disaster declaration and aid. (AP Photo/Dmitry Belyakov, file)

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