Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This


USC Grad Student Killings: Suspects Plead Not Guilty

Photo by Kuzma via Shutterstock
Stories like these are only possible with your help!
Your donation today keeps LAist independent, ready to meet the needs of our city, and paywall free. Thank you for your partnership, we can't do this without you.

The two young men accused of killing two USC graduate students in what's being called a "botched robbery" have entered not guilty pleas on capital murder charges in court today.

20-year-old Bryan Barnes and 19-year-old Javier Bolden are suspected of fatally shooting Ming Qu and Ying Wu, two 23-year-old electrical engineering students who were attacked and killed inside Qu's parked car not far from the campus.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Shelly Torrealba today ordered Barnes and Bolden to remain jailed without bail, according to City News Service. The two men were arrested May 18 for the April 11 crime. In June, court documents revealed that Facebook, a key witness and swift police work helped identify one of the two suspects in less than 24 hours.

The murder charges include the special circumstance allegations of multiple murders and murder during the commission of a robbery. Prosecutors say they will decide closer to trial if they will seek the death penalty for Barnes and Bolden. Along with the murders, the two are charged with the attempted murder of a 20-year-old man during a party in South Los Angeles in December 2011.

Support for LAist comes from

A hearing to determine if there is sufficient evidence for a trial has been scheduled for September 20.