USC double murder: 22-year-old gets life in prison

Judge sentences man to life in prison for killing of two USC students from China

Calling the case one of the saddest he had ever presided over, a Los Angeles judge on Monday sentenced a man convicted of killing two USC students from China to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Superior Court Judge Stephen A. Marcus described Javier Bolden's actions in the 2012 fatal shooting as "shameful." 

"This crime has stained the reputation of Los Angeles," Marcus said. 

The judge said he saw Bolden, 22, smile when the father of one victim addressed the court about his loss.

"You should be hanging your head in shame," Marcus told Bolden. "You have nothing to smile about."

A jury last month found Bolden guilty of first-degree murder for his role in the April 11, 2012, shooting of Ming Qu and Ying Wu, 23-year-old graduate engineering students who were shot while sitting in a parked car near campus.

The shooting – the first incident in a rash of violence that prompted the university to increase its security – rocked the campus and made headlines around the world.

After his arrest, Bolden told investigators he and a friend had approached the vehicle hoping to "get some cash." During his trial, a prosecutor showed the jury a video of Bolden bragging about the shooting to his cellmate, who was an undercover police informant.

Bolden was also convicted of attempted murder and assault with a firearm in a separate shooting involving two victims outside a banquet hall in South L.A. a couple of months before the USC shooting.

Bolden was one of two men convicted in the USC shooting. In February, Bryan Barnes pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree murder. He was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

For more news from the Los Angeles County criminal courts, follow @marisagerber.

Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times


10:19 a.m.: This post has been updated to include the sentence and the judge's comments.

This post was originally published at 8:40 a.m.