An 18-year-old reputed member of a Los Angeles gang pleaded not guilty Thursday to the murder of Errick Lamont Ealy, the only son of a prominent Long Beach pastor.
The suspect, Jarrod O'Neal, was arrested earlier this week on suspicion of killing Ealy, 24, who was gunned down with an assault rifle as he tried to flee his assailant, police Cpl. Josef Levy said.
Ealy, the son of the Rev. Joe Ealy, founder of the 30-year-old Gospel Memorial Church of God in Christ, was active in the church, sources said. But, according to police, Ealy was also associated with a gang.
O'Neal was identified as the man who approached Ealy and a group of friends on Hill Street and Lime Avenue on June 5, pulled an assault rifle from beneath his jacket and fired, police said. Ealy was hit several times as he tried to run away and died soon after.