Nineteen-year-old Andrew Garcia, one of the four defendants charged with the murder of USC graduate student Xinran Ji, returned to court Wednesday after a judge deemed him mentally competent to stand trial.
Deputy District Attorney John McKinney presented footage from a USC surveillance camera that allegedly showed Garcia and his accomplices — Alejandra Guerrero, Alberto Ochoa and Jonathan Del Carmen — chasing Ji, who can be seen wearing light-colored clothing and a black backpack, and beating him with a baseball bat on the night of July 24, 2014.
Los Angeles Police Department Detective Matthew Courtney testified during the preliminary hearing that he believed Garcia is the first person seen chasing Ji in the footage.
“Mr. Garcia’s body type, his hairstyle, his clothing match what I see as the first individual chasing after Mr. Ji,” Courtney said. “Also, I came to that conclusion based on the conversation I had with Mr. Garcia as well as with the other defendants in this case.”
McKinney also showed several graphic photos depicting blood droplets leading from the confrontation near 29th Street and Orchard Avenue to Ji’s apartment where he later died from his injuries. The images also showed the furniture, the bathroom sink and the clothing Ji was wearing inside his apartment were covered in blood.
Garcia pleaded not guilty to murder charges earlier this year, and the hearing will continue tomorrow.