A Los Angeles judge ruled on Monday that two men will stand trial for the murder of two USC graduate students, Ying Wu and Ming Qu, who were killed in an apparent robbery in April 2012.
Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Stephen A. Marcus said there was significant evidence connecting Bryan Barnes and Javier Bolden to the slaying for them to stand trial.
The Chinese international graduate students, both 23 years old, were shot dead while sitting in a parked BMW off campus near the intersection of 27th Street and Raymond Avenue.
Both students’ phones were stolen in the crime. Prosecutors said that Barnes sold one phone to a store and the other phone was found at the residence where he was arrested.
Barnes and Bolden will stand trial for first-degree murder and could face potential capital punishment. They were charged last May in connection with the case and pleaded not guilty at their arraignment in July.
Investigators on this case also connected Barnes and Bolden to another shooting, and Bolden to one more additional shooting. They will stand trial in connection to those crimes as well.
Qu and Wu’s parents filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the university seeking unspecified damages. The suit claims that the university misled them about the safety of the neighborhood surrounding campus. The case was dismissed in February for insufficient legal arguments.
Barnes’ and Bolden’s arraignment has been set for Nov. 7.
Follow Camille on Twitter @camilleshoosh