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Murder Trial Looms for Suspect Accused in Killing of Venice Youth Pastor

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One of three suspects in the June 2012 shooting death of 23-year-old Venice resident Oscar Duncan appeared in court Wednesday during a brief pre-trial hearing at the LAX Courthouse.

Suspected gang member Kevin Dwayne Green, 29, waived his right to a speedy trial and Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Katherine Mader scheduled another pre-trial hearing for March 18. Green was arrested a few days after the June 4 shooting in the 600 block of Santa Clara Avenue.

The alleged gunman, 23-year-old Hopeton Parsley, and alleged accomplice Nichole Sheran, 18, were arrested and charged in January in connection with the gang-related shooting.

Alternate Public Defender Tonya Greetz asked Mader for more time to review evidence presented by prosecutors, saying that she had reviewed only four of 13 CDs and DVDs of discovery evidence.

Deputy District Attorney Teresa Magno of the Hardcore Gang Division said before the hearing that prosecutors planned to pursue a separate trial for Green and another for Parsley and Sheran. Magno was summoned to another courthouse Wednesday and the prosecution was represented during the hearing by Deputy District Attorney Caroline Peck.

Green’s trial may be scheduled to start within 30 days of March 18, if there are no further delays. Green, who appeared in court Wednesday wearing a jail-issued blue jumpsuit, remains in custody with bail set at $2 million.

Duncan, who was not a gang member, was killed June 4 about 10:30 p.m. outside his home. Duncan and his fiancee were walking up the porch when a car pulled up and started jeering at her, according to police accounts and court testimony. A gang name was shouted out after Duncan approached the car and he was shot once in the head.

Green was on parole at the time of the shooting and a Global Positioning System (GPS) satellite-based surveillance device attached to his ankle registered being in front of Duncan’s home at the time of the slaying, according to court testimony. Green and Parsley are suspected members of the Playboy Gangster Crips street gang, authorities said.

Duncan was a 2006 graduate of Venice High School and a former “Youth of the Year” with the Boys & Girls Club of Venice. He also was a youth pastor at a church in Compton and was a teen mentor at the Boys & Girls Club of Venice. Duncan also was a homecoming and prom king at Venice High School and was captain of the football team. He was known for his singing and dancing talents, especially “krumping,” and went by the name “Choir Boy” as a nod to his Gospel-inspired hip-hop music.

Parsley was arrested shortly after the shooting, but was released with no charges filed before his apprehension in January. Green previously told authorities that Parsley was the gunman.

Parsley and Sheran remain in jail with bail set at $2 million.

–Venice Dispatch

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