Judge says preliminary hearing is on track
Preparations for the preliminary hearing of two suspects accused of killing two USC graduate students in April are moving forward as scheduled, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Shelly Torri Alba confirmed at a short hearing on Tuesday.
Bryan Barnes, 20, and Javier Bolden, 19, were arrested in May and charged with first-degree murder in connection with the fatal off-campus shooting of Ming Qu and Ying Wu, two 23-year-old graduate students studying electrical engineering. Barnes and Bolden pleaded not guilty during an arraignment in July.
Regina Laughney, the deputy public defender representing Barnes in the absence of his primary attorney, said Tuesday‚Äôs hearing was procedural.
‚ÄúToday‚Äôs hearing is just ‚Ä¶ to make sure everything‚Äôs on track and to confirm the next [hearing] date,‚ÄĚ Laughney said.
Friends and peers of the victims attended the hearing, as did family members of the suspects. Lashanna S. Green-Chaskley, Bolden‚Äôs birth mother, was not available for comment.
Another procedural hearing has been set for Dec. 12. The preliminary hearing is scheduled to take place at the end of January.