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Murder Suspect Pleads Not Guilty in Killing of Venice Youth Pastor

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By Paul Chavez, Venice Dispatch

A suspected gang member pleaded not guilty Thursday to murder and other charges in connection with the June shooting death of Venice resident Oscar Duncan, a 23-year-old church pastor and former “Youth of the Year.”

Kevin Dwayne Green, 29, was charged with one count of murder, robbery and being a felon in possession of a firearm. He entered his plea before Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Katherine Mader at the LAX Airport Courthouse. Green’s bail was kept at $2 million and he remains in custody.

Duncan was fatally shot once in the head June 4 about 10:30 p.m. in the 600 block of Santa Clara Avenue after a car with four men pulled up and jeered at his fiancee.

Green was ordered to trial Oct. 11 by Superior Court Judge Cynthia Rayvis after Deputy District Attorney Teresa Magno of the Hardcore Gang Division presented enough evidence during a preliminary hearing to warrant a trial. Green was on parole when the shooting occurred and a Global Positioning System (GPS) satellite-based surveillance device attached to Green’s ankle registered being in front of Duncan’s home at the time of the shooting, according to evidence presented at Green’s preliminary hearing.

The shooting remains under investigation and authorities have said they hope to make more arrests.

Duncan was a 2006 graduate of Venice High School, where he was a captain of the football team, homecoming king and prom king. He was a former “Youth of the Year” with the Boys & Girls Club of Venice and later went to work at the club where he helped mentor teens. Duncan also was known for his singing and dancing talents and was dubbed “Choir Boy” in a nod to his Gospel-inspired music. In addition, Duncan was a youth pastor at a church in Compton.

A Los Angeles Police Department gang expert testified during the preliminary hearing that Green was a member of the Playboy Gangster Crips, a Westside street gang with about 130 members.

Green’s robbery charge is related to a similar May 21 attack near the 1400 block of South Mansfield Avenue that left one man savagely beaten. If convicted, Green faces a minimum of 50 years to life in prison. Green’s next scheduled court date is Dec. 11.

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