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Teen girl detained after USC student's death charged with 7 felonies

14-year-old girl arrested with 4 suspects in slaying of USC student charged with 7 felonies
Teen girl faces 7 felonies in robbery that led LAPD to identify alleged killers of USC student
Teen girl whose arrest at Dockweiler Beach led to alleged killers of USC student now faces 7 felonies

The 14-year-old arrested with four other teens after a USC student was beaten near campus has been charged with seven felonies in connection with a Dockweiler Beach robbery following the deadly assault, officials said.

The girl, who was not named by prosecutors because of her age, was charged with seven counts related to the July 24 robbery, according to Greg Risling, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County district attorney's office.

She faces charges of carjacking, one count of second-degree robbery, one count of attempted second-degree robbery, two counts of assault with a deadly weapon and two counts of assault likely to cause great bodily injury during a robbery.

The teen was taken into custody July 24 after a robbery at Dockweiler Beach, Los Angeles police said. She was detained after two victims in the beach holdup contacted police, who spotted her and another teenage girl fleeing.

It was that arrest that eventually led to the capture of four other teenagers -- ages 16 to 19 -- in connection with the beating death of the USC grad student.

Those four were charged with murder in the death of Xinran Ji, a 24-year-old USC graduate student, who police and prosecutors said was beaten with a baseball bat as he walked home from a study group.

Evidence indicated he tried to get away from his attackers only to be assaulted a second time, according to law enforcement sources familiar with the case. 

Despite a head injury, Ji managed to make it home to his apartment a few blocks away. His roommate found his body later that morning.

After the attack, prosecutors allege the teens drove to Dockweiler Beach where three of the defendants -- identified as Andrew Garcia, 18; Alberto Ochoa, 17; and Alejandra Guerrero, 16 -- approached a man and a woman. The teens allegedly robbed the woman, but the man escaped and flagged down police officers who were patrolling the area.

A criminal complaint alleges the three again used a bat at the beach, and that Ochoa and Guerrero also used a knife.

Garcia, Ochoa and Guerrero were charged with second-degree robbery, attempted second-degree robbery and assault with a deadly weapon in connection with that incident.

The fourth suspect charged with Ji's murder -- Jonathan DelCarmen, 19 -- was believed to be driving the car that night, prosecutors said. 

Because of their ages, Ochoa and Guerrero will not face the death penalty, but prosecutors said they could be sentenced to life in prison without parole if convicted.

California law allows prosecutors the discretion in certain crimes -- including murder -- to charge a minor as an adult. The U.S. Supreme Court, however, has ruled that minors are not eligible for capital punishment.

The Times generally does not name juvenile suspects unless they are charged as adults, as Ochoa and Guerrero have been in this case.

Follow @LAcrimes and @katemather for more coverage of this story and other crime news from across Southern California.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times

UPDATES

Aug. 7, 3:07 p.m.: This post has been updated with amended charges from the district attorney's office from two counts of second-degree robbery to one charge of second-degree robbery and one count of attempted second-degree robbery.

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