Suspects charged with capital murder for deaths of 2 USC grad students (updated)

Erika Aguilar/KPCC

Students and neighbors brought flowers to the house where one of the victims lived. Two USC graduate students were shot and killed, April 11, 2012.

Arraignment has been postponed for two men facing capital murder charges in the fatal shooting of two USC graduate students last month. Bryan Barnes, 20, and Javier Bolden, 19, are being held without bail and are due in court June 25.

Barnes and Bolden are accused of killing Ying Wu and Ming Qu, two Chinese electrical engineering graduate students, on April 11 as they sat inside of a car double parked in the West Adams neighborhood. Qu managed to crawl to a house to ask for help, but collapsed and died shortly after. Police believe the shooting was part of a botched robbery.

Family members of the defendants Tuesday exclaimed, "Yes!" when Judge Upinder S. Kalra ruled that no photos or video would be allowed of the proceedings. Public defenders assigned to Barnes and Bolden had objected to cameras on grounds of "unresolved identification issues."

One family member yelled out, "Love you, brother!" as a large group left the court room. All declined to comment.

Police arrested Barnes and Bolden Friday after serving search warrants in Los Angeles near the USC campus and in Palmdale. Investigators used shell casings from the USC murder to connect the suspects to other attempted murders.

The L.A. County District Attorney has filed one count against Barnes and Bolden of attempted murder for allegedly shooting a 20 year-old man last December at party in South L.A.

Barnes is also facing additional charges for allegedly firing a semiautomatic weapon at a party, hitting a man and women and severely injuring them.

"The special circumstances of multiple murders and murder during commission of a robbery makes the two defendants eligible for the death penalty," the DA's office said in a press release.

Prosecutors will decide later whether they'll seek the death penalty in this case.

View the criminal complaint filed against the suspects below:

Barnes & Bolden Complaint

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