The fourth day of trial for Javier Bolden who was charged with two counts of murder in the 2012 killings of USC graduate students Ming Qu and Ying Wu, continued at the Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center in downtown Los Angeles Tuesday morning.
During Tuesday’s proceedings, Deputy District Attorney Daniel Akemon first called Stefano Bowe, a subpoenaed representative from TracFone, to the witness stand. TracFone, a wireless phone wholesale retailer, markets phones for use with monthly minute plans. Bowe confirmed that a cellular phone, wiretapped by the Los Angeles Police Department, was purchased by Bolden.
In a wiretap from the night of the crime, a male voice was recorded as saying, “I just killed somebody,” to an unidentified female on the other side of the line.
According to testimony given by LAPD Criminalist Marissa Bowen, cartridge casings found at the scene of the crime were fired from a semi-automatic 9-millimeter Luger pistol that was connected to Bolden, as determined by sheerings from the barrel of the weapon.
Bolden’s attorney, alternate public defender Andrew Goldman, cross-examined Bowen on whether bullets from different guns could have the same sheerings. Bowen said that she believed the sheerings came from the same weapon.
Goldman, who is a USC alumnus, represents low-income clients as part of the alternate public defender’s office, which represents accused persons who are unable to receive legal counsel from the regular public defender’s office due to unavailability or a conflict of interest.
Goldman and Akemon both asked to approach the judge’s bench multiple times throughout the trial for conversations with the judge outside the hearing of the jury.
Later, Akemon called Vincent Carrion, another representative from the LAPD, to the stand to testify. Carrion played a DVD for the jury in which a paid undercover informant was placed in the jail cell with Bolden and instructed to befriend him in order to collect details about the crime from inside the jail cell. In the tape, Bolden recounted scenes from the night of the crime with little to no emotion. The informant that spoke to Bolden has been used by the LAPD in many other similar cases.
In the DVD, Bolden revealed details about the crime to the informant and discussed his plans to sell parts from the BMW vehicle for money. He talked at great length about how nice the vehicle was, but did not spend as much time talking about the shootings.
He also described seeing the victims’ bodies after they were shot, and consequently fleeing from the scene.
Goldman declined to cross-examine Bowe and Carrion.
Bryan Barnes, the other suspect in the case, pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree murder in February and is currently serving two life sentences in prison. Both the suspects were charged with the murders in May 2012.
Ming Qu and Ying Wu, the victims, were heading to their home in the early morning of April 11, 2012 when they were both shot and killed while double-parked in a 2003 BMW to the northwest of campus in an apparent robbery attempt.
The trial will continue throughout the week, and according to Judge Stephen Marcus, the jury should reach a decision later this week.