Hopeton Parsley (LAPD)
A reputed gang member accused of gunning down a Compton youth minister in Venice pleaded not guilty Friday January 4, to a murder charge. Hopeton Parsley, 23, was charged Wednesday and arrested Thursday in connection with the June 4 killing of Oscar Duncan, 23, according to the District Attorney's Office. Prosecutors said Duncan, who was not a gang member and was actively involved in gang-intervention efforts, was standing with his girlfriend on a Venice street at the time of the attack. Parsley was allegedly with a group of people who drove up to Duncan and his girlfriend and shouted a gang name at them.
Parsley then fired a single shot, hitting Duncan in the head, prosecutors said. Parsley was charged with murder, along with co-defendants Kevin Dwayne Green, 29, and Nichole Sheran, 18. The murder charge includes gun use and street gang allegations, while Parsley is alleged to be the shooter. Parsley is due back in court Jan. 28, when a date is scheduled to be set for a preliminary hearing.
Green, who was charged in June with murder and a separate count of second-degree robbery that occurred May 21, is also due back in court Jan. 28 for a pretrial hearing. Sheran previously pleaded not guilty to the murder charge and is due back in court Feb. 20, when a date is expected to be set for a hearing to determine if there is enough evidence for her to stand trial. Parsley faces 50 years to life in prison if convicted, according to prosecutors.