Three teens to stand trial in beating death of USC student

Suspects admitted to targeting student "because he was Chinese."

In Los Angeles, three teenagers have been ordered to stand trial for the beating death of a University of Southern California graduate student from China. Investigators say the assailants admitted to targeting the victim to rob him, deciding that "because he was Chinese he must have money."

Detective says suspects admitted singling out Chinese student near USC

19-year-old Jonathan del Carmen, 17-year-old Alberto Ochoa, 16-year-old Alejandra Guerrero are charged with the murder of 24-year old Xinran Ji, a second-year grad student in electrical engineering. Proceedings for a fourth defendant, 19-year-old Andrew Garcia, have been suspended pending mental competency evaluations.

Ji was walking home alone near campus last July when he was chased down and attacked with a baseball bat. Beaten and bloody, Ji managed to make his way back to his apartment, where he died.

Louis Pena, a forensic pathologist for the Los Angeles County coroner's office, testified that he found multiple points of impact on Ji's body from a rounded object. Pena said in court that Ji's skull was fractured and his brain stem compressed, causing his body to go into shock.

"In my opinion, he would've passed at some point in time, even if he had gotten to a hospital," Pena said.

Ji spent his final hours at a study group with fellow Chinese students. Just after midnight, he left with a friend and walked her home, LAPD Officer Di Sun said in court Tuesday.

The defendants were arrested hours after Ji was beaten when they allegedly robbed a young couple across town. The car they were traveling in at the time of the arrest had a license plate identification that matched one captured by license plate reader technology in the area where Ji was attacked.

The next court proceeding in the Ji case is scheduled for January 29.

More here: Three Ordered to Stand Trial in USC Graduate Student's Beating Death

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