June 24, 2024 #1 Local News, Information and Event Source for the Century City/Westwood areas.

Man Shot Over the Color of his Shoes in South LA

CrimeThe mother of a 19-year-old mentally disabled man shot to death in South Los Angeles, apparently over the color of his red Converse tennis shoes, has been the target of threats, a prosecutor said today.

Deputy District Attorney Bobby Zoumberakis, appearing at the arraignment of alleged shooter Kanasho Johns, 28, warned that “any type of intimidation will be followed with criminal charges.”

Outside the courtroom, the prosecutor said he could not comment on whether the mother — who was accompanied in court by a crowd of family and friends — was in protective custody. But deputies helped escort her out of the courtroom after waiting for the hallway to clear.

She and several of the others wore T-shirts asking “Why My Life?” with an image of the red shoes and her son’s name, Tavin Price.

Johns pleaded not guilty to murdering Price, who was shot about 11 a.m. May 29 near a car wash in the 3300 block of West Florence Avenue.

Johns — who was arrested June 23 outside Houston, Texas — is also charged with one count of possession of a firearm by a felon.

Also charged in Price’s killing and in court today were Kevin Deon Johnson, 24, and Dwight Kevin Smith, 30, who earlier pleaded not guilty to murder. Charges against the three include gang and gun allegations.

All three remain jailed on bail of more than $2 million and are due back in court August 27, when a date is scheduled to be set for a hearing to determine whether there is enough evidence to require them to stand trial.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Sergio C. Tapia II denied a request today by Johnson’s attorney to reduce bail or release his client on his own recognizance, citing his lack of criminal activity as an adult. Johnson has a juvenile conviction for robbery, according to the criminal complaint.     Tapia cited the “serious nature of the charges” and “more importantly,” public safety, in denying the bail reduction.

Several people in the courtroom appeared to be there in support of Johns and his co-defendants. Two people who signaled to Johns — one immediately after being warned that communicating with those in custody is not allowed — were told to leave the courtroom and not allowed to return.

A fourth person, Antheyst Jarrett, 27, was ordered June 18 to stand trial on one count each of dissuading a witness from testifying and being an accessory after the fact. Jarrett was the first to try and intimidate Price’s mother, according to prosecutors.

Price — who was called “Tevin” by some relatives and friends — was at the car wash with his mother and a friend when he went into a nearby smoke shop. Smith allegedly confronted the young man and asked whether he belonged to a gang because he was wearing a red shirt and red shoes.

Price, who was not affiliated with a gang, ignored the question about his shoes, according to police and prosecutors. He was walking back toward the family’s car when Johns allegedly ran across the street and shot him four times.

in Crime, News
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