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2 accused in USC grad student slayings to appear in court next month

Two men accused of fatally shooting two USC graduate students from China in an apparent robbery are expected to appear in court next month.

Arraignment on murder charges is scheduled Nov. 7 for Bryan Barnes, 21, and Javier Bolden, 20. Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Stephen A. Marcus said Monday there was "more than enough" evidence tying them to the April 11, 2012, slayings.

Ying Wu and Ming Qu, both 23, were fatally shot as they sat in a BMW parked outside a house near the campus. The students' cellphones had been stolen.

Prosecutors say Barnes sold one phone to a store. The other phone was recovered at the residence where he was arrested, they said.

Using shell casings recovered at the scene, investigators also connected Barnes and Bolden to an earlier shooting in which one victim was shot eight times.

Bolden was tied to another shooting in which two people were wounded. Marcus ordered them to stand trial in connection with those shootings as well.

The killing of Wu and Qu rattled the university community and attracted international attention.

In a preliminary hearing that dragged on a week, prosecutors painted a picture of Barnes and Bolden as hard-partying; others described them as being like brothers.

Prosecutors played a recording of a May 2012 wiretapped phone call between Barnes and Bolden, in which they apparently discussed the attack on the students.

Marcus said he found the call to be a "critical" piece of evidence.

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jill.cowan@latimes.com

Twitter: @jillcowan

 

 

 

 

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