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USC Shooting Suspect Pleads Guilty To Murder

Jen Nowell |
February 5, 2014 | 12:42 p.m. PST

Staff Reporter

(Slain USC students Wu Ying, Qu Ming/USC News)
(Slain USC students Wu Ying, Qu Ming/USC News)
One of the two men charged in the shooting deaths of two USC graduate students pleaded guilty to both murder charges today, as the parents of the victims demanded justice for the killings of two young people who had fallen in love.

Bryan Jonathan Barnes, 21, received life in prison without the possibility of parole for each murder, plus 25 years to life for using a firearm to kill students Ying Wu and Ming Qu, who were both 23 at the time.

Wu and Qu were shot and killed during a robbery April 11, 2012, while sitting in a parked BMW near campus.

SEE ALSO: LAPD: 'We Have A Strong Case' Against Suspects In USC Shooting

Parents of both victims were in court and the fathers addressed Barnes and others through an interpreter.

Wanzhi Qu, Ming Qu's father, called his son a "brilliant, young man."

"He came with beautiful dreams," Qu said. "But died tragically at USC."
Ming was ready to chase his dreams, but his life was taken, his father said.

"In our dreams our son is covered in blood, crying out to us, 'I'm so cold,'" Qu said.

In his dreams, he said his son tells him he must get justice and that is the reason he and his wife are in court today — to get justice for their son.

Qu said he learned April 2 — nine days before the murders — that his son and Ying were in love. He said he couldn't sleep for days, as he was so excited to meet his future daughter-in-law.

Nine days later, he said his excitement turned to grief.

Qu told the court that Barnes deserved the death penalty for devastating his family's lives.

"We have lost everything and have no one to lean on," he said.

Xiyong Wu, Ying Wu's father, said he wouldn't want to return to Los Angeles, because it is the place of a "painful memory."

But he said he came today for the memory of his daughter, whom he called a "beautiful, intelligent angel."

(USC students memorial April, 2012/Neon Tommy)
(USC students memorial April, 2012/Neon Tommy)
Ying came to study with the dream for a bright future, her father said.

However, after two years of study and right before her graduation, she was "murdered cold-blooded by this murderer here today," he said.

She had already purchased her ticket to return home to China.

"The pain of losing only child is excruciating," Wu said, as her mother began to sob.

Ying's plan was to return home, find a job and support her family, he said.
"My daughter is gone," Wu said. "So is my hope."

On holidays when the family gets together, he said, "all we can do is sit in silence in front of our daughter's grave."

Judge Stephen Marcus called the killings a "horrific tragedy."

"They (Wu and Qu) came to America to study and fell in love," Marcus said.
Barnes sat with his back toward the audience and his head down, and he did not look at the family members as they spoke to the court.

SEE ALSO: Court Docs Reveal Speedy Police Work And Lucky Breaks In USC Shooting Investigation

He was also charged with attempted murder and use of a firearm, involving the shooting of Timothy Hall in December 2011, but the charge was dismissed, Deputy District Attorney Dan Akemon said in court. But Barnes will have to pay restitution for the victim's medical expenses, he said.

Barnes' family was in court and visibly upset, but did not want to comment on the case.

The second suspect in the shooting deaths of Wu and Qu, Javier Bolden, is set to appear in court for a pretrial hearing in March.



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