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USC Homicides: Trial For Barnes, Bolden Delayed Once Again

Aaron Liu |
April 23, 2013 | 11:56 a.m. PDT

Senior News Editor

Police at the crime scene, the morning of the shootings. (Alan Mittelstaedt/Neon Tommy)
Police at the crime scene, the morning of the shootings. (Alan Mittelstaedt/Neon Tommy)
A judge has once again delayed the trials of Bryan Barnes and Javier Bolden, two men charged with killing two USC graduate students in an off-campus shooting last year.

The suspects have yet to face a trial more than a year since the shootings took place. Barnes and Bolden have been in custody since late May, but defense lawyers have repeatedly delayed the scheduling of a preliminary hearing since the pair pled not guilty last July. Ming Qu and Ying Wu were found dead next to their bullet-ridden car on April 11, 2012, a mile away from campus.

Barnes is also suspected of firing shots into a party last February, which left one man paralyzed and a woman seriously injured.

“Let’s think about doing this [the trial] in September,” said Judge Stephen A. Marcus. He asked the lawyers to reconvene on June 5.

Both Barnes and Bolden face charges of murder. They could recieve the death penalty if convicted.

Family members of the suspects and members of the Chinese media attended the session, which lasted no more than 20 minutes. Barnes and Bolden walked into the room handcuffed in blue jumpsuits; Bolden blew a kiss to his mother. Lawyers for the pair then requested postponing the trials of Bolden and Barnes so they could have more time for preparation, which left the judge visibly upset.

“I am aware of preparation,” the judge told the defense attorneys. “There is a lot of time that you’ve had so far with preliminary hearing.”

He then asked the pair to waive their right to a speedy trial.

“Yes sir,” they replied, heads down.

At one point during the session, the judge snapped at the defense for their insistence to continue delaying the trial.

“You can listen to me, you can’t listen to me but I am the one sitting up here.”

Nevertheless, the defense continued to push for a delayed trial date in September and repeated that their case required a lot of preparation. One of the lawyers told the judge that she also planned to take a break during the month of August, making late September the most convenient time for her.

“Beyond September may appear to this court as unreasonable,” replied Judge Marcus.

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