USC Asks Judge to Drop Wrongful-Death Suit

The parents of two students slain in April are suing the university

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    Ming Qu (left) and Ying Wu (right) were shot and killed April 11 in the West Adams District.

    USC has asked a judge to dismiss a wrongful-death case filed by the parents of two USC grad students who were shot near the campus in April, saying the university is not responsible for the deaths.

    Electrical engineering students Ying Wu and Ming Qu, both 23, were shot about 1 a.m. on April 11 as they sat in Qu’s BMW that was double parked in the 2700 block of Raymond Avenue near West 27th Street off campus.

    2 Charged With Capital Murder in USC Killings

    [LA] 2 Charged With Capital Murder in USC Killings
    Two men are accused of killing Ming Qu and Ying Wu near the USC campus in April. A judge on Tuesday postponed the suspects' arraignment until June 25. Ted Chen reports from the courthouse in Downtown LA for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on May 22, 2012. (Published Tuesday, May 22, 2012)

    In their lawsuit filed in May in Los Angeles Superior Court, Wanzi Qu and Xiaohong Fei, father and mother of Qu, and Xiyong Wu and Meinan Yin, parents of Wu, are seeking unspecified damages.

    Bryan Barnes, 20, and Javier Bolden, 19, face potential capital murder charges with special circumstances in conection with the slayings that police believe happened during a botched robbery.

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    [LA] Helicopters Facilitated Arrests in Slayings of USC Graduate Students
    Bryan Barnes, 20, of Los Angeles, and Javier Bolden, 19, of Palmdale, were arrested Friday, May 18, in connection with the murders of USC graduate students Ying Wu and Ming Qu. Units first arrested Barnes and then boarded waiting helicopters to Palmdale to arrest Bolden. Kim Baldonado reports from downtown LA for the NBC4 News at 11 p.m. on May 18, 2012. (Published Friday, May 18, 2012)

    Their scheduled Monday arraignment was postponed until July 18.

    In court papers filed last Monday, USC lawyers say the school is not responsible for the deaths.

    "The murders were random, unpredictable and unconnected to USC," the university's court papers state. "Nonetheless, the parents ... seek to hold USC civilly liable for the perpetrators' criminal acts by bringing this wrongful-death suit."

    The USC court papers state that the parents' lawyers have not stated any evidence showing the school is responsible for off-campus crimes committed by people with no connection to the university.

    "Boiled down to its core elements, (the) complaint is nothing more than an attempt to try to hold USC financially responsible for damages inflicted on its students by the criminal behavior of third parties unrelated to USC," the defense court papers state.

    Messages left for the attorney for the families filing the suit, Alan Burton Newman, and USC were not immediately returned.

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