• Pair charged in USC grad student slayings


    LOS ANGELES – Two men suspected of fatally shooting two USC graduate students from China during a botched robbery were charged today with capital murder and other counts, the District Attorney’s Office announced.

    Bryan Barnes, 20 (dob 5-10-92), and Javier Bolden, 19 (dob 8-29-92), are scheduled to be arraigned sometime after 1:30 p.m. in Department 30 of the Foltz Criminal Justice Center. They are being held without bail.

    Deputy District Attorney Deborah Brazil with the Major Crimes Division is prosecuting the case.

    Barnes and Bolden, both of Los Angeles, are charged in case BA397880 with the April 11 special circumstance murder of Ming Qu and Ying Wu. The two engineering students, both 23, were gunned down in the 2700 block of Raymond Avenue during a suspected robbery.

    The special circumstances of multiple murders and murder during commission of a robbery makes the two defendants eligible for the death penalty. Prosecutors will decide later whether to seek the death penalty against Barnes and Bolden.

    Barnes and Bolden also are charged with one count each of attempted murder for allegedly shooting a 20-year-old man during a Dec. 3, 2011, party in South Los Angeles. The complaint alleges both defendants used a handgun and caused great bodily injury.

    In addition, Barnes is charged with one count each of attempted murder and assault with a semiautomatic firearm. Authorities say that while attending a party in South Los Angeles on Feb. 12, he allegedly fired numerous rounds, striking and severely injuring a male and also injuring a female. Both victims are in their 20s.

    Los Angeles Police, who investigated the case, said shell casings allegedly tied the suspects to both the USC fatal shootings and the earlier attempted murders.

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