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Preliminary Hearing Postponed After Andrew Garcia Found Competent For Trial

Olga Grigoryants |
March 18, 2015 | 3:49 p.m. PDT

Staff Reporter

A preliminary hearing for Andrew Garcia, one of four teenagers charged with the killing of USC graduate student, was postponed until April 29.

Andrew Garcia in court during a preliminary hearing on January 12, 2015. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)
Andrew Garcia in court during a preliminary hearing on January 12, 2015. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

Garcia who is charged with murder in the attempt of robbery with a deadly weapon, will stand trial separately from three other defendants.

READ MORE: Xinran Ji's Final Steps

Xinran Ji, 24, USC student from China, was found dead in his off-campus apartment after being severely beaten with a metal baseball bat and wrench as he walked from a study group right after midnight in July. 

Next morning, police arrested Garcia, Jonathan Del Carmen, 19, Alberto Ochoa, 17 and Alejandra Guerrero, 16 and charged them with murder. 

News about Garcia’s recently scheduled preliminary hearing date came a day after a judge found Garcia mentally competent to stand trial.

On Wednesday, Garcia walked into a courtroom wearing an orange T-shirt over a long-sleeved shirt and black pants. Two officers stood behind Garcia as he sat with his hands uncuffed. 

Garcia’s family sat quietly in the audience as the judge proceeded with the case. Cresencio Garcia Jr., Andrew’s father, said he comes to every trial to support his son. 

“We hope for the best, but we’re ready for the worst,” said  Cresencio Garcia Jr., adding that he hasn’t visited Andrew, who turned 19 while in jail, since his arrest in July. “It’s really hard for us.” 

 If found guilty, Garcia and Del Carmen, could face the death penalty while Ochoa and Guerrero, who are still minors, could be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. 

The arraignment of Del Carmen, Ochoa and Guerrero is rescheduled for April 7. 

Staff Reporter Olga Grigoryants can be reached here or follow her on Twitter here.



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