LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com/AP) — Jurors in the case of a man charged with the murders of two Chinese students at the University of Southern California were played a videotape Thursday where he purportedly discussed the shootings.
Prosecutors played the video of Javier Bolden talking to a cellmate after his arrest in the killings of Ming Qu and Ying Wu.
The 23-year-old engineering students were shot on April 11, 2012, while sitting in a parked car in a neighborhood near the campus.
The deaths fueled concerns in China about the safety of students abroad and it spurred USC to provide more protection around campus.
Bolden’s cellmate was a police informant who secretly recorded him discussing how he and a friend had planned to steal the couple’s BMW.
In it, Bolden reportedly states, “We was out there robbin’ people, but I ain’t tripping. I ain’t … ” He then allegedly laid out the plan, and claimed that he was not to blame for the murders.
The 22-year-old Bolden is charged with two counts of murder and attempted murder and assault with a firearm in a separate shooting that occurred months earlier. The attempted murder and assault charges were being dealt first in court, CBS2’s Greg Mills reports.
Bolden’s attorney, Andrew Goldman, said his client lied to the informant to appear tough and said he would have admitted to the Boston Marathon bombing to impress the informant. The informant had told Bolden he was arrested on murder charges.
Deputy District Attorney Dan Akemon showed jurors a 1 1/2- hour-long police interview he said was Bolden’s confession. In it, Bolden admitted that he and a friend targeted USC to find well-off victims.
Goldman said his client made the confession under duress and that Bolden denied involvement in the shootings until a detective mentioned he could face the death penalty.
Bolden’s friend, Bryan Barnes, pleaded guilty in February to two counts of first-degree murder in the USC shooting. He was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole as part of a plea deal to avoid the death penalty.
Meanwhile, prosecutors said Bolden is no longer facing the death penalty, if convicted.
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