Three men were ordered Friday to stand trial for the gang-related killing of a 19-year-old mentally disabled man who was gunned down near a South Los Angeles car wash, apparently over his red shoes.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge M.L. Villar found sufficient evidence to require Kanasho Johns, 28, Dwight Kevin Smith, 29, and Kevin Deon Johnson, 25, to proceed to trial in connection with last year’s shooting death of Tavin Price, who was called “Tevin” by his family and friends.
He was shot four times about 11 a.m. May 29 in the 3300 block of West Florence Avenue.
A woman who had been inside a nearby smoke shop with the victim told investigators that he had been confronted about the color of his shoes and clothing and was asked why he had “all that red on” shortly before the shooting, according to Los Angeles police Detective Eric Crosson.
The detective testified that the woman told police that Price responded, “I don’t (gang) bang,” and that she told the man to leave him alone because he was mentally disabled.
The murder charge against Johns, Smith and Johnson includes an allegation that the crime was committed for the benefit of a criminal street gang.
Authorities allege that Johns pulled the trigger.
Price’s mother, Jennifer Rivers, thanked God, the police and community members after police arrested the three last year.
“Ever since I buried Tevin on June the 13th, I have found myself being the gatekeeper there at the cemetery because of how you viciously murdered my child in my face … You robbed me of my baby,” she said at the time.
Johns, Smith and Johnson — who remain jailed — are due back in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom Jan. 29 for arraignment.
— City News Service