Second man gets life term for killing two USC grad students from China

Reuters News
Posted: Nov 17, 2014 3:03 PM

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The second of two men convicted of murder in the 2012 shooting deaths of two University of Southern California graduate students from China was sentenced on Monday to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Javier Bolden was found guilty last month of first-degree murder for the slayings of 23-year-old engineering students Ming Qu and Ying Wu, who were gunned down in a botched robbery attempt as they sat together in a car parked outside Wu's rented home, a few blocks from campus.

Bolden, 22, received two consecutive life terms without parole eligibility for the USC killings in April 2012, and a third life term plus 22 years for a separate shooting two months earlier that left two people wounded, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office said.

Bolden's accomplice in the USC murders, 21-year-old Byran Barnes, was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole in February after pleading guilty to murder and admitting he was the actual shooter in that case.

Prosecutors did not seek the death penalty for the two men.

The slayings sent shockwaves through USC, which boasts one of the largest international student enrollments among major U.S. universities, and sparked a debate over whether the campus provides adequate security in adjacent neighborhoods where many students live.

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The campus was riled again this year when 24-year-old Xinran Ji, an electrical engineering graduate student, also from China, was beaten to death with a baseball bat during a robbery.

Four teenagers pleaded not guilty in August to the killing, which occurred near Ji's Los Angeles apartment several blocks from USC.

(Reporting by Steve Gorman; Editing by Sandra Maler)