Last July, 24-year-old USC graduate student in engineering, Xinran Ji, was walking home to his apartment after a late-night study session when he was brutally accosted by a group of unknown strangers just a few hundred feet off-campus, and beaten bloody with a baseball bat and a wrench in an attempted robbery. Ji survived the initial attack and stumbled to his apartment with multiple internal injuries, where his roommate found him dead in his bed the following morning.
Now, three teenagers — Jonathan Del Carmen, 19; Alberto Ochoa, 17; and Alejandra Guerrero, 16 — are standing trial for murder. Two additional teenagers were also arrested in the incident, but one — 19-year-old Andrew Garcia — is currently awaiting a hearing to determine his mental competency, while the other unnamed teenaged girl is not being charged with Ji’s murder because officials say she was not involved in the attack; she was instead charged with robbery for a crime committed later in the night.
All four of Ji’s attackers confessed to the robbery and assault. Further, Andrew Garcia is quoted as saying that the teenagers targeted Ji for his race. Reports the New York Daily News:
Andrew Garcia, 19, told cops that he and four other friends saw the 24-year-old walking home alone on July 24. The group decided to mug him, he said.
“Because he was Chinese, he must have money,” Garcia told police.