This week in Los Angeles, a man was convicted of first-degree murder in the 2012 shooting deaths of two Chinese graduate students during a robbery near the University of Southern California.
Man Convicted in Shooting Deaths of 2 USC Students
22-year-old Javier Bolden was found guilty in the April 2012 shooting of Ming Qu and Ying Wu, engineering students from China, who were "ambushed" and killed while sitting in a parked car near campus.
Bolden was charged with two counts of murder and special circumstance allegations of multiple murders and murder during the commission of a robbery in the deaths. An accomplice, Bryan Barnes, pleaded guilty in February to first-degree murder charges, and was sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole.
During the six-day trial, some of the most damning evidence was recorded phone conversation between Bolden and Barnes, who discussed the time they "ran up on them little Asian people."
Deputy Dist. Atty. Dan Akemon argued that some of the most damning evidence in the case was a wiretapped phone conversation in which co-defendant Bryan Barnes asked Bolden if he remembered the time they "ran up on them little Asian people."
Bolden responded "mmnh-mmnh" when Barnes mentioned details from the shooting, and toward the end of the conversation, Bolden told Barnes to "just relax."
Jurors also watched a video of Bolden bragging about the shootings to his cellmate, a police informant, in jail. Seated on a bunk bed, Bolden told his cellmate that he watched as Barnes shot the two students.
"The passenger just slumped," he said.
Qu and Wu's murders received international attention, raising concerns in China about the safety of students at the school. USC has the largest international student population of any U.S. university, with 3,000 of its 8,000 international students coming from China.
Bolden faces a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole. He is scheduled to be sentenced on November 17.
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