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Two charged over killings of Chinese students in LA

(Xinhua)

08:25, May 23, 2012

LOS ANGELES, May 22 (Xinhua) -- Two men suspected of fatally shooting two Chinese students during a botched robbery were charged Tuesday with capital murder and other counts, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office announced. Both may face death penalty.

Bryan Barnes, 20, and Javier Bolden, 19, were arrested last Friday and are being held without bail.

Deputy District Attorney Deborah Brazil with the Major Crimes Division is prosecuting the case, a statement from the Attorney's office said.

Barnes and Bolden, both of Los Angeles, are charged with the April 11 special circumstance murder of Qu Ming and Wu Ying, both 23 and second-year graduate students studying in the University of Southern California (USC).

The two electrical engineering students were gunned down in the 2700 block of Raymond Avenue near the USC campus, where the female victim once lived, during a suspected robbery at around 1 a.m. local time (0800 GMT) on April 11.

Wu was found shot in the front passenger seat of the car. Qu tried to run and call for help, but he collapsed and was found on a nearby porch, police said.

The special circumstance of multiple murders and murder during commission of a robbery makes the two defendants eligible for the death penalty. Prosecutors will decide later whether to seek the death penalty against the two men, said the statement.

The suspects also are charged with the one count each of attempted murder for allegedly shooting a 20-year-old man during a Dec. 3, 2011 party in South Los Angeles. The complaint alleges both defendants used a handgun and caused great bodily injury.

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