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Another Gang Member Charged, Arrested in Venice Pastor’s Murder

Police now believe the shooter is another man than previously thought.

Prosecutors on Wednesday charged reputed gang member Hopeton Parsley, 23, with the murder of Venice youth pastor Oscar Duncan.

Police arrested Parsley in June 2012 following the murder, but later released him. In light of new evidence, officers arrested him on Thursday.

Parsley joins co-defendant Kevin Dwayne Green, 29 and Nichole Sheran, 18 in facing murder charges for gunning down Duncan on the 600 block of Santa Clara Avenue on June 4, 2012.

Originally, prosecutors pinned Green as the shooter but following an investigation, detectives believe Parsley, not Green, discharged the single gun shot that ended Duncan’s life. 

Investigators placed Green at the crime scene with GPS data extrapolated from his ankle bracelet that he was required to wear as a parolee. Initially, Green repeatedly denied being in Venice on the night of Duncan’s murder, according to court documents. Only after detectives divulged the GPS data during an interrogation did Green admit his involvement. 

Green denied pulling the trigger, telling detectives that he did not kill people and that he had lost his wife and unborn child to gang violence. He insisted that Parsley was the murderer. Both men reportedly belong to the Playboy Gangster Crips.

, four days after the murder when officers attempted to pull over his girlfriend’s white Lexus – which matched the one gang members used to gun down Duncan.

“I did pull over once, and then he started yelling and started being aggressive and I kept going,” Green’s girlfriend Brittney Lyons testified at an October hearing.

Green fled on foot and police apprehended him and made the arrest. At the time, he was not wearing his GPS ankle bracelet that police believe he cut or slipped off during the foot chase, according to court documents.

Duncan worked at the teen center at the Venice Boys & Girls Club to steer kids away from gang violence. He graduated Venice High School in 2006 and was nominated that year as “Youth of the Year” at the Boys & Girls Club.

Green is in custody on $2 million bail. In addition to Duncan’s murder, he was also charged with a separate count of second degree robbery in connection with an incident that occurred May 21, 2012 and with one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Prosecutors are asking that Parsley’s bail also be set at $2 million. He faces a minimum of 50 years in prison if convicted. Sheran, who pleaded not guilty to one count of murder, returns to court on Feb. 20. 

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