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USC student deaths: Man pleads guilty to murder

Ming Qu (left) and Ying Wu (right) were shot and killed near the University of Southern California on Wednesday, April 11, 2012.
February 5, 2014 12:00:00 AM PST
One of the men charged in the murder of two USC graduate students from China pleaded guilty to murder on Wednesday.

By pleading guilty, 21-year-old Bryan Barnes avoided the death penalty. He was immediately sentenced to two consecutive terms of life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Ming Qu and Ying Wu, both 23-year-old engineering graduate students, were shot to death during an attempted robbery on April 11, 2012. The victims were sitting in a car on the 2700 block of Raymond Avenue, about a mile from the University of Southern California campus.

Barnes pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree murder and admitted the special circumstances of multiple murders and murder during the commission of a robbery. He also admitted the special allegation that he personally discharged a firearm.

The second defendant, 21-year-old Javier Bolden, has pleaded not guilty and is still awaiting trial.


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