Two Gang Members Found Guilty of First-Degree Murder for 2012 Shooting Death of Venice Resident Oscar Duncan
By Paul Chavez
A jury found two street gang members guilty of first-degree murder Friday for the June 2012 killing of 23-year-old Venice resident Oscar Duncan.
Kevin Green, 31, and Hopeton Parsley, 25, were charged with murder with gun use and committing a crime to benefit a street gang.
The seven male and five female jurors deliberated for only hours after receiving the case Thursday afternoon from Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Mark Windham at the LAX Airport Courthouse.
Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney Eugene Hanrahan of the Hardcore Gang Division prosecuted the case over the four-week trial.
Green and Parsley, both members of the Playboy Gangster Crips, face sentences of 50 years to life in prison at their sentencing hearing May 8.
Nicole Sheran, 20, previously pleaded guilty as part of a plea deal and testified she was in the back seat at the time of the shooting. Sheran pleaded guilty to manslaugher and was sentenced to 11 years in prison.
Kirshawn Washington, 20, also allegedly was in the vehicle and also faces prosecution, Hanrahan said.
Duncan was a 2006 graduate of Venice High School where he was a homecoming king and prom king and also a captain on the school’s football team. He grew up playing youth football, basketball and baseball at the Oakwood Recreation Center and became a longtime fixture at the Boys & Girls Club of Venice where was named “Youth of the Year.”
He also was a youth pastor at a church in Compton as well as a teen mentor at the Boys & Girls Club in Venice. Duncan also was known for his singing and dancing skills and went by the name “Choir Boy”.
About 1,000 people attended his memorial service at the First Baptist Church in the Oakwood neighborhood of Venice and the Venice Boys & Girls Club renamed its teen services area the Oscar Duncan Teen Lounge.
Duncan’s cousine Lanee Burns and brother Curtis were joined by about a dozen other family members Thursday as the trial came to a close.
The popular youth minister was returning from dinner with his fiancee when he was fatally shot once in the head June 4, 2012, about 10:30 p.m. in the 600 block of Santa Clara Avenue outside his home.
His fiancee testified that a white car pulled up and she was jeered at and Duncan, who was not a gang member, walked toward the car asking who they were.
She testified that Parsley replied, ‘This is Shoreline Crips, cuz’ and when Duncan said he lived there he was shot.
Gang members sometimes shout out a local gang’s name as a ruse to gain the trust of their intended target.
Detective Dave Vinton of the Los Angeles Police Department’s West Bureau Homicide Division requested parolee Green’s GPS data for the night of the shooting and it showed his ankle bracelet was in front of Duncan’s home at the time of the shooting.
The murder of the youth pastor preceded a spate of gang violence in the Mid-City area that involved a dozen victims from September to December 2013, according to prosecutors.
Four alleged members of the Venice Shoreline Crips street gang were charged in February 2014 with the murder of 7-year-old Taalib Pecantte who was shot and killed Dec. 2, 2013.
Pecantte, similar to Duncan as a boy, played youth football for the Compton Vikings.
Tradel Billy Faniel, 29; Paul Eugene Jamar, Jr. 20; Danielle Tonano Perez, 32 and Windel Roman Faniel, 27, each face one count of murder with gang and gun allegations.
Tradel Faniel also has been charged with the murder of Charles Hall, 17, in September 2013.
All four of the defendants also face multiple accounts of attempted murder.
The Faniel brothers, Jamar and Peters have pleaded not guilty to all charges.
Hanrahan also was prosecuting the case, which is in the preliminary trial phase.
Hanrahan in November also secured a first-degree murder conviction against 23-year-old gang member Michael Anthony Mariscal for the June 2011 shooting death of two teenagers at Penmar Park in Venice.
Mariscal, a member of the Culver City Boyz street gang, was sentenced Feb. 11 to life in state prison without the possibility of parole.
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