A 27-year-old gang member pleaded not guilty today to fatally shooting a youth pastor in 2013, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office announced.
Arvin Benson (dob 12/15/87) of Pomona was charged in case KA110610 with one count each of murder and possession of a firearm by a felon.
The felony complaint includes gun and gang allegations. Additionally, the charging document alleges Benson was previously convicted of cocaine base for sale in 2007 and possession of a controlled substance in 2009.
Prosecutors said on Nov. 11, 2013, victim Daniel Diaz was sitting in a vehicle at a stop sign in Pomona when Benson reportedly walked up and shot him several times.
Diaz, a 33-year-old youth pastor, was taken to the h0spital for medical treatment, but ultimately succumbed to his injuries, prosecutors said.
Authorities began an investigation into the shooting and charged Benson on Sept. 8 in connection with the killing.
The defendant is scheduled to return to court on Jan. 13 for a preliminary hearing in Department F of the Los Angeles County Superior Court, Pomona Branch.
If convicted as charged, Benson faces a possible maximum sentence of 50 years to life in state prison.
The case is being investigated by the Pomona Police Department.
Los Angeles County District Attorney / case KA110610 / October 20, 2015