LOS ANGELES – Four U.S. teens were charged Tuesday with murder in the fatal beating of a Chinese graduate student with a baseball bat and wrench as he walked to his apartment.
Two of the suspects, aged 16 and 17, were juveniles charged as adults in the slaying of Xinran Ji, 24, an engineering student at the University of Southern California who was attacked early Thursday. He was able to make his way to his apartment. A roommate discovered him dead hours later.
The defendants — 17-year-old Alberto Ochoa, 16-year-old Alejandra Guerrero, 18-year-old Andrew Garcia and 19-year-old Jonathan Del Carmen — will be arraigned Aug. 12 on one count each of murder with a special circumstance of murder in the course of an attempted robbery, prosecutors said.
Ji had excelled at one of China’s best universities and won a scholarship for excellence in research and innovation, according to the university. He also won a prize in Zhejiang University’s mathematical modeling contest.
The Chinese Consulate General in Los Angeles called his death cruel and said representatives had urged U.S. authorities to take measures to ensure the safety of Chinese students, according to a statement.
The attack has prompted USC to review its program for educating foreign students about safety issues, said USC Department of Public Safety Deputy Chief David Carlisle.
Foreign students receive a fall orientation that addresses public safety, Carlisle said, but the school is now looking at ways to make it more robust.