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Neon Tommy - Annenberg digital news

Javier Bolden's Mom: 'My Son Didn't Kill Anybody'

Olivia LaVoice |
October 22, 2014 | 3:32 a.m. PDT

Staff Reporter

Javier Bolden's trial continues this week in Los Angeles. (Ani Ucar/ATVN)
Javier Bolden's trial continues this week in Los Angeles. (Ani Ucar/ATVN)

“A murderer—they don’t have a heart. They don’t cry. My son broke down. So that lets me know even more, my son didn’t kill anybody," said the mother of a man accused of murdering a young couple in cold blood. 

Javier Bolden’s mother, Lashanna Chaskley, clung onto the bathroom sink in a downtown Los Angeles courthouse as heavy tears rolled down her face. Minutes earlier, Chaskley had been kicked out of the courtroom by the judge for making a comment during the trial. Inside the courtroom, Chaskley’s son is facing charges of first degree murder, attempted murder, and assault with a firearm. 

Bolden is accused of murdering two USC students in 2012. Bryan Barnes, the second man charged with the killings pled guilty to two life sentences without parole. 

SEE ALSOTwo USC Students Killed In Apparent Carjacking Attempt 

While Bolden’s mother talks about the pain and remorse her son feels, his presence inside the courtroom tells a different story. 

The 22-year-old appears emotionless throughout nearly seven hours of testimony surrounding his involvement in the 2012 murders of Ying Wu and Ming Qu. 

The district attorney began the trial by playing an audio recording of a phone call made from Bolden’s phone to an unidentified female the night of the murders. At the end of the grainy recording, a male voice murmurs, “I just killed somebody.” 

This phone call is just one piece of the puzzle that raises the question: What role did Bolden play in the crime that left two students dead?

LAPD criminalist, Marissa Bowen, testified that she analyzed the shell casings left behind at the crime scenes in both shootings that Bolden is accused of.

Just a few months before the USC murders, Bolden attended a party in South Los Angeles that ended with two people shot. 

Deionce Davance and Zanae Flowers both survived the gun shots. Davance was reportedly shot in the back of the head, causing the bullet to exit out of his eye socket. When Neon Tommy spoke to Chaskley she had a photo on her cellphone that she claimed was Davance in the hospital after he was shot. 

Judge Stephen Marcus is presiding over the case. (Ani Ucar/ATVN)
Judge Stephen Marcus is presiding over the case. (Ani Ucar/ATVN)

“If you got shot in the back of your head and the bullet went through your eye, would you still have an eye?” She asked while pointing out that Davance had both eyes intact in the photo. She said this was an example of how the court is misrepresenting certain events to make her son seem worse than he is. 

“They’re presenting evidence and making my son look like he pulled the trigger on somebody,” Chaskley said. 

In both shootings Bolden is accused of, Bowen said “with absolute certainty" that the cartridges left behind at the scene came from the same gun. 

Lead detective Vince Carreon testified that he recognized Bolden’s voice in several different wiretappings tied to the case. Carreon explained how he used a police informant to go undercover to gain Bolden’s trust by posing as his cellmate. Carreon then played a video recording secretly taken by the informant. While the quality of audio is poor, Bolden’s face on the screen is perfectly clear. 

In clear parts of the recording, Bolden describes the vehicle that Ying Wu and Ming Qu were in the night of the murder. He describes the BMW as “a new one” and “blue," though he never mentions the vehicle as being a motive for the crime. Bolden also says several times that he didn’t see the faces of the victims and attributes this to the heavy rain that night. Bolden’s demeanor in the video footage shows him as being calm and unfazed by the topic of their conversation. 

SEE ALSO: Friends Of USC Victims Shocked By Brutality Of Shootings 

A notable aspect of the video is that the informant refers to Bolden as “blood” throughout their entire conversation. It’s unclear whether or not this is indication that Bolden is a member of the notorious street gang of the same name.

The court was then showed a video recording of an interview with detective Carreon and Bolden after he was arrested for the murders. Bolden describes the night in an eerily quiet tone, barely ever looking up from the floor. “I didn’t want to shoot anybody,” Bolden said during the interrogation. 

Chaskley is vehement that her son didn't kill anyone. “I’m not saying my son wasn’t probably there, in any of the events, but my son is nobody’s murderer.”

During the police interview, Bolden describes approaching the parked BMW from behind. He says he went towards the passenger side while Barnes approached the drivers window. Bolden says in a flash Barnes opened fire through the window, shooting both Wu and Qu.

Bolden says they then took the victims' cellphones from the car and fled the scene. 

Since the crime occurred, the question of why these students were killed has haunted investigators. In the recording of the police interrogation, Carreon and his partner tell Bolden, “All we want to know is why?”

Slain USC students Wu Ying, Qu Ming. (Ani Ucar/ATVN)
Slain USC students Wu Ying, Qu Ming. (Ani Ucar/ATVN)

It’s been speculated that this crime was an attempted car-jacking gone wrong. However, neither Barnes or Bolden has ever said their motive was to steal the vehicle.

SEE ALSO: USC Shooting Suspect Pleads Guilty To Murder

For investigators, two cellphones is a baffling explanation for this crime.

Bolden hangs his head low as he repeatedly tells the detectives he has no idea why Barnes killed Wu and Qu. Detective Carrion searches for a reason, asking if there was any confrontation, if Barnes had told the victims to do something and they were reluctant. Investigators appear to be in disbelief when Bolden tells him there were no spoken words between the students and himself and Barnes.

“Did you ask him why he killed them?” asked Carreon. Bolden replies with a soft spoken“no.” 

Bolden claiming he never tried to understand why Barnes murdered two strangers doesn’t sit well with the detectives who, for a moment in the courtroom, are speechless. 

While most of the district attorney’s evidence against Bolden comes from wiretappings, much of the dialogue coming from Bolden is difficult to understand. Jurors are given transcripts of the audio to aid them in following along with the conversations.

However, the judge makes it clear several times throughout the trial that the transcriptions aren’t evidence, only the recordings are. Therefore, if the jurors are unclear about what they're hearing, they can’t use the transcription as their proof that they did or didn’t hear something. This makes much of the audio recordings unreliable. 

Bolden’s mother says she feels everyone in the courtroom has already made up their mind about her son.

“What’s the point? This is not a fair trial.” 

Reach Staff Reporter Olivia LaVoice here.



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