LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — One of two suspects in the fatal shootings of a pair of USC students from China pleaded guilty Wednesday to murder charges.
Bryan Barnes, 21, pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree murder and special circumstance allegations and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Co-defendant Javier Bolden, 21, still maintains his innocence and is awaiting a pre-trial hearing scheduled for March 12.
The two men reportedly shot and killed Ying Wu and Ming Qu, both 23-year-old electrical engineering graduate students, in a April 2002 botched robbery.
The victims were killed while sitting in Qu’s BMW, which was double-parked in the 2700 block of West Raymond Avenue, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.
Wu was found in the passenger seat and Qu on the steps of a nearby house where he collapsed while trying to summon help, police said.
The victims’ cell phones were stolen from the vehicle and later traced back to Barnes and Bolden, Los Angeles police said.
A wrongful death lawsuit filed against USC by the family of the students alleging the school misled prospective students about campus safety was later dismissed.
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