Of youth pastor’s murder, prosecutor asks: ‘Why did such a bad thing happen to such a good person?’

LA Times / The Homicide Report
Posted Feb. 20, 2015, 9:54 p.m.

young pastor killed VeniceWhen the murder trial for the men charged with killing her son began four weeks ago, Belverly “Nico” Brown-Duncan stopped parking in front of her home, unable to bear the sight of where he had been slain.

Oscar Duncan, 23, was shot in the head June 4, 2012, steps from his front gate. He had just come home from dinner with his girlfriend. Her son was a football captain, homecoming king and youth pastor. He had done nothing wrong.

On Friday, a jury found Hopeton Bereford Parsley, 25, and Kevin Dwayne Green, 31, guilty of first-degree murder, with gang and weapon allegations. A jury also found Green guilty of a robbery 10 days prior to the shooting.

Duncan grew up in Venice’s Oakwood neighborhood. At 14, he proclaimed that he wanted to be a pastor. His mother often found him awake in the early morning, studying his Bible. He tried to steer teenagers away from gang life through various groups. Days before he was killed, his managers at the Boys and Girls Club made the decision to give him a promotion to a full-time counselor.

“Why did such a bad thing happen to such a good person?” Deputy Dist. Atty. Gene Hanrahan asked a jury Thursday during closing arguments.

Prosecutors said that Parsley and Green, both Playboy Gangster gang members, were on a “crash and burn” mission.

“They were putting in work, going on a mission for their gang,” Hanrahan said.

Duncan, who had never been arrested, had the “misfortune of being out there.”

Before their encounter with Duncan, prosecutors said, the two men convicted in his murder, along with two others, drove to rival gang territories looking for targets. Green, who was on parole, was wearing a GPS bracelet that placed him at the scene of the crime, in addition to another shooting.

His movements were corroborated by records from Parsley’s phone, according to court testimony.

About 10:30 p.m., a group in a white Lexus pulled up to Duncan and his girlfriend just after the couple parked their car. Someone from the Lexus made a comment about Duncan’s girlfriend, then shouted “Venice Shoreline!,” according to court testimony. Prosecutors said that was bait.v

Read more here: http://homicide.latimes.com/post/youth-pastors-murder-prosecutor-asks-why-did-such-bad-thing-happen-such-good-person/

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