Two men accused of fatally shooting two USC graduate students from China pleaded not guilty Thursday to murder charges, the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office said.
Javier Bolden, 20, and Bryan Barnes, 21, are scheduled for a pre-trial hearing on Jan. 23, 2014, said Jane Robison, a spokeswoman for the district attorney's office.
Bolden and Barnes each face two counts of murder that could result in the death penalty or life without the possibility of parole.
Their stolen iPhones led investigators to Barnes and Bolden. Prosecutors said Barnes sold one phone to a store and the second was found at a residence, where authorities arrested him.
During a preliminary hearing, prosecutors said GPS data tracked Wu’s phone. A court order permitted authorities to listen in on Barnes’ telephone calls.
Authorities heard him talking to Bolden and appear to acknowledge their roles in the crime, according to prosecutors.
The call was played during a preliminary hearing, and in one part Barnes described an incident in which he and Bolden “ran up on them little Asian people” while alluding to shooting the phone’s owner.
At the scene of the shooting, recovered shell casings helped investigators connect Barnes and Bolden to a Dec. 3, 2011, shooting. Authorities tied Bolden to another shooting in February 2012.
Barnes and Bolden are being held without bond, Robison said.
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