By Aaron Blevins, 5/24/2012
Two men suspected of fatally shooting two USC graduate students from China during a botched robbery were charged on Tuesday with capital murder and other counts, the District Attorney’s Office announced.
The arraignment of both Bryan Barnes, 20, and Javier Bolden, 19, have been continued until June 25. They are being held without bail.
Barnes and Bolden, both of Los Angeles, are charged 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.
Both 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.
The Los Angeles Police Department, which investigated the case, said shell casings allegedly tied the suspects to both the USC fatal shootings and the earlier attempted murders.