Los Angeles

USC Student Pleads Not Guilty to Murder Charges in Death of Professor

A USC graduate student pleaded not guilty Tuesday to murder charges in the fatal stabbing of a psychology professor on the school's campus, prosecutors said.

David Jonathan Brown, 28, of Los Angeles was charged with one count of murder along with "a special allegation that he personally used a deadly and dangerous weapon, a knife," according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office.

Brown is accused of stabbing psychology Professor Bosco Tjan, 50, to death in his office Friday afternoon, authorities said.

Tjan served as a co-director of the Dornsife Cognitive Neuroimaging Center and was an expert in perception, vision, and vision cognition. He joined the USC faculty in 2001.

"This was not a random act of violence," according to a statement posted on the department's website. "The Los Angeles Police Department believes this was the result of a personal dispute."

The killing occurred on the final day of classes before finals.

He could face 26 years to life in prison if convicted as charged, officials said.

Hundreds of USC students, faculty members and administrators gathered in the center of campus Monday in remembrance of Tjan, 50, of Cerritos, who had taught at USC since 2001.

Tjan leaves behind a wife and son.

A GoFundMe was set up to raise money for his wife and son, with a goal to "raise enough money to help cover the future higher education of his son," the GoFundMe page read. It had raised nearly $53K in 20 hours as of Wednesday morning.

"May each of us, as members of the Trojan family, resolve to bring comfort and support to his wife and child," USC President C.L. Max Nikias said during the ceremony near the Tommy Trojan statue on campus.

"We've really lost an incredible mind and extremely generous person," said Irving Biederman, Howard Dornsife Professor of Neuroscience and director of the Image Understanding Laboratory. "You could not ask for a better colleague. He was brilliant, knowledgeable and helpful to others."

City News Service contributed to this report. 

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