Life in Prison for Shooter Who Pleaded Guilty to slayings of Two USC Graduate Students

Ming Qu and Ying Wu were shot while sitting in their car on the 2700 block of Raymond Avenue on April 11, 2012

By Steven Covelman
|  Thursday, Feb 6, 2014  |  Updated 6:08 AM PDT
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Witness: LAPD Surveyed USC Murder Suspect's House for Days

Ying Wu, left, and Ming Qu were both shot to death April 11, 2012 near USC. Bryan Barnes pleaded guilty to their murders on Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014.

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Police Try to Connect Crimes Near USC Campus

Cmdr. Bob Green says it would be "pure speculation" to connect Wednesday’s suspected armed robbery with the murders of two USC students last week. Still, police say they are hopeful that this suspect, who allegedly struck in the same area as the fatal shooting, may lead them to more information. John Cadiz Klemack reports from the West Adams District for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on April 18, 2012.

Witness: LAPD Surveyed USC Murder Suspect's House for Days

Neighbors on 91st Street say their quiet block sprang into action around 4 p.m. Friday when the LAPD arrested Bryan Barnes on suspicion of double-murder in the deaths of USC graduate students Ying Wu and Ming Qu. Beverly White reports for the NBC4 News at 11 p.m. on May 18, 2012.
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One of two men charged in the fatal shootings of two USC graduate students from China pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree murder Wednesday, authorities said.

Bryan Barnes, 21, was sentenced to two consecutive terms of life in prison without the possibility of parole, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. In exchange for his guilty plea, prosecutors agreed to not seek the death penalty.

Before Wednesday’s sentencing, the fathers of the victims were in court and spoke of their loss, saying their families have suffered from the murders "for no reason."

Co-defendant Javier Bolden still faces trial on murder charges. He has pleaded not guilty and is scheduled to return to court March 21.

Electrical engineering students Ming Qu and Ying Wu, both 23 years old, were shot as they sat in their car in the 2700 block of Raymond Avenue on April 11, 2012. Police believe the slayings were the result of a botched robbery.

Barnes and Bolden were also wanted in connection with two other attempted murders to which both pleaded not guilty. Investigators used shell casings from Qu and Wu’s slayings to connect the suspects to the crimes.

The shooting happened about a mile away from the private university, situated in the West Adams neighborhood. Parents of the two graduate students filed a wrongful-death suit against the university which was later dismissed.

The graduate students were both from China.

USC is home to one of the largest foreign student bodies in the United States, with nearly 8,000 international students enrolled in the fall semester of 2012, according to school statistics. The majority of those foreign students were from China.

The university has created annual scholarships in honor of Qu and Wu.

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