Two sent to prison for 2014 killing of USC graduate student from China

Alejandra Guerrero, center, and Jonathan Del Carmen, right, are sentenced to prison for the 2014 killing of Xinran Ji.
(Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

A woman was sentenced to life in prison Friday for the beating death of a USC graduate student from China, and a co-defendant was given a term of 15 years to life.

Alejandra Guerrero, 20, was sentenced on a first-degree murder conviction in the 2014 attack on 24-year-old engineering student Xinran Ji. Her prison term is without possibility of parole.

Guerrero was one of four people accused of taking part in the fatal attack on Ji as he walked home after a late-night study session.


Guerrero and Andrew Garcia, 22, who was sentenced last year to life in prison, got out of a car to beat Ji with a wrench and a baseball bat while co-defendant Jonathan Del Carmen, 23, remained in the car.

After the attack, Deputy Dist. Atty. John McKinney said, Ji staggered to his off-campus apartment and was later found dead. Meanwhile, authorities said, Guerrero and the others drove to Dockweiler State Beach and robbed a man and a woman.

“When they got to the beach, Del Carmen explicitly told the others he didn’t want to be involved in any further crime against anyone,” McKinney said.

By walking away from further crime and appearing to disavow the violence his partners committed earlier by driving off, McKinney said, Del Carmen was allowed to plead guilty to second-degree murder.

Both Guerrero and Del Carmen apologized in court Friday before they were sentenced.

Another co-defendant, Alberto Ochoa, 21, is awaiting trial in Ji’s killing and in the Dockweiler Beach attack.

A portrait of USC graduate student Xinran Ji, who was fatally beaten as he walked home in 2014 after a study session.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)


4:05 p.m.: This article was updated throughout.

This article originally published at 3:35 p.m.