Bryan Barnes, 20, and Javier Bolden, 19, were charged today with capital murder in connection with the shooting deaths of USC students Ming Qu and Ying Wu on the early rainy morning of April 11. The slayings, about a mile from campus, shocked the school and inspired the students' parents to sue USC for allegedly portraying the university as being safer than it is.
A special circumstance of “multiple murders and murder during commission of a robbery” means the duo would be eligible for the death penalty if they're convicted, according to a statement from the L.A. County District Attorney's office.
The pair was scheduled …
… to be arraigned this afternoon.
Barnes and Bolden were also charged with attempted murder after allegedly shooting a 20-year-old man at a South L.A. party Dec. 3.
In another case, Barnes is charged with attempted murder and assault with a semiautomatic gun after he allegedly opened fire at a South L.A. party Feb. 12, injuring a man and woman in their 20s.
Cops said shell casings from the USC murders match those of the Feb. 12 party shooting, according to the D.A.'s office.
Barnes was reportedly suspected of pulling the trigger about 1 a.m. in the 2700 block of Raymond Avenue as the duo allegedly tried to rob the 23-year-old USC engineering students.
Reports indicated that a cellphone signal from a device taken during the crime led to one of the suspects.
The two were arrested Friday.
According to the LAPD:
Immediately following Barnes' [South L.A.] arrest, the arrest teams boarded two awaiting helicopters and flew out to the City of Palmdale, where the second location was under surveillance by additional members from LAPD. The teams hit the ground around 7:30 p.m. and soon, surrounded and called out the second of the two murder suspects, Javier Bolden, a 19 year-old resident of Palmdale. Bolden was taken into custody without incident and transported back to Los Angeles where he too was booked for murder.