Hopeton Parsley, a 23-year-old Westside gangster, was charged with the murder of a popular Venice youth pastor, the L.A. County District Attorney's office said today.
Parsley is said to be a member of the Playboy Gangster Crips, which claims turf about a mile south of Beverly Hills along La Cienega Boulevard. The set has long had beef with the Venice Shoreline Crips.
But youth pastor Oscar Duncan, who was from Compton, was a known peacemaker:
You see, in the world of gangs, sometimes it's enough to go into a rival's neighborhood and shoot the first person you see who you think might fit the description of an enemy.
For Parsley, however, it could mean 50 years behind bars if he's convicted in the May 21 attack on 23-year-old Duncan, according to the D.A.'s office. For Venice, it meant an unspeakable loss.
Prosecutors allege that Parsley was the trigger man.
He was due in court today. The D.A.'s office said it will request $2 million bail.
Two others have also been charged with one count each of murder in the case: Kevin Dwayne Green, 29, a.k.a. Baby Skull, and Nichole Sheran, 18.
The shooting happened outside the Oakwood Recreation Center in Venice shortly before 10:30 p.m. on that spring night.
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Duncan, a Venice High School alum, had worked for Inglewood-based Takeover Youth Ministry and was a force for peace on the streets, according to those who knew him.
According to our report after the attack:
LAPD officials initially said they believed four men in a white car were jeering at Duncan's girlfriend when Duncan got involved. The suspects allegedly shouted a gang name, shot the victim with a single bullet and sped off.