Alleged Gang Member Pleads Not Guilty in Pomona to Youth Pastor’s Killing

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Daniel Diaz is pictured with his girlfriend Denise Lugo in a family photo.

A suspected gang member pleaded not guilty Tuesday to gunning down a youth pastor in Pomona two years ago.

Arvin Benson, 27, is charged with murder and possession of a firearm by a felon, the latter charge stemming from a 2009 conviction for selling cocaine base, prosecutors said.

Pomona police say that on Nov. 11, 2013, Benson killed Daniel Anthony Diaz amid violence between black and Latino gang members simply because Diaz was Latino. Benson is black.

About 12:45 a.m., a man walked up to a car that Diaz and three other people were in, according to the Pomona Police Department. The people in the car had just dropped off a friend when the man started shooting, police said.

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