Accused killer of USC professor to be committed

Former graduate student David Jonathan Brown was ordered Tuesday to be committed to a California Department of State Hospitals location for up to life.

Brown was charged with the stabbing death of professor Bosco Tjan, and was ruled not guilty by reason of insanity in January based on two psychiatric evaluation reports.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Leslie Swain recommended Brown be committed to Patton State Hospital in San Bernardino.

Steve Schoenfield, Brown’s public defender, said he is pleased Brown will receive medical treatment.

“He’s severely mentally ill and needs help,” Schoenfield said. “Hopefully with that help he will get well and with each day, improve. I hope to see him one day being assimilated back into society. I don’t believe that’s going to be in the near future, of course.”

Brown was arrested in December 2016 after Tjan was found dead from multiple stab wounds.

Tjan was a professor of psychology and co-director of the Cognitive Neuroimaging Center at Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences. He had worked at the University since 2001.

Prior to the fatal stabbing incident, Brown had studied neuroscience and had been working in Tjan’s lab. Police said that the murder was motivated by a “personal dispute.”

“I think that this is a tragedy all the way around, and I know how much [Tjan] liked David and David liked him,” Schoenfield said. “He supported David and he was a great mentor to him, and I hope his family can have peace.”