Suspect pleads guilty to murder of 2 USC graduate students from China (Update)

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Update 9:47 a.m.: The father of Ying Wu, one of the two victims, has just finished addressing the judge in the case.

Through a translator, Xi Ying Wu explained the impact that the death of his daughter has had on the family.

"She came to study in USC with a dream and great expectation for a bright future and she worked very hard for that. However, on the night of April 11, 2012, after two years of study, right before she graduated, she even had the plane ticket to travel home, she was murdered by this murderer in court today," the father told the judge. "Not only have you taken away our daughter, our only child, together with her dreams, you have also shattered the dreams and hopes of our entire family into pieces."

Defendant Bryan Barnes pleaded guilty Wednesday to two counts of murder and other charges for his role in the slaying of two USC graduate students from China.

Barnes has now been formally sentenced to two terms of life in prison without the possibility of parole, in addition to two additional consecutive terms of 25 years to life in prison. The prosecution agreed to not seek the death penalty in exchange for Barnes' guilty plea.

A second defendant, Javier Bolden, still faces trial on murder charges. He is scheduled to return to court in March for a pre-trial hearing.

Previously: Bryan Barnes pleaded guilty Wednesday to two counts of murder and other charges for his role in the slaying of two USC graduate students from China.

Barnes is expected to be sentenced to two terms of life in prison without the possibility of parole, in addition to two additional consecutive terms of 25 years to life in prison. The prosecution agreed to not seek the death penalty in exchange for Barnes' guilty plea.

The prosecution also agreed to drop an additional murder charge in the death of Timothy Hall. 

A second defendant, Javier Bolden, still faces trial on murder charges.

Police say Barnes and Bolden killed Ying Wu and Ming Qu, two Chinese electrical engineering graduate students. On April 11, 2012, the pair were inside of a car that was double-parked in the West Adams neighborhood when they were shot. 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.

Police arrested Barnes and Bolden on April 13, 2012, 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.

This story will be updated.

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