A hearing is scheduled to begin today to determine if two 19-year-old men and two teenagers will be ordered to stand trial in the beating death of a USC graduate student from China, who was attacked while walking back to his apartment near the campus last summer.
Jonathan Del Carmen and Andrew Garcia are charged along with Alberto Ochoa, 17, and Alejandra Guerrero, 16, in the murder of Xinran Ji, who was fatally injured around 12:45 a.m. July 24 near 29th Street and Orchard Avenue.
The criminal complaint includes the special-circumstance allegation that the murder occurred during an attempted robbery, which makes Del Carmen and Garcia eligible for the death penalty should prosecutors decide to seek capital punishment. Ochoa and Guerrero, who are charged as adults, cannot face the death penalty because they are under 18.
The criminal complaint alleges that Garcia, Ochoa and Guerrero used deadly weapons — a bat and a wrench — on Ji, who was beaten and struck on the head.
The 24-year-old electrical engineering graduate student, who was walking home after taking part in a study group, managed to make it back to his City Park apartment in the 1200 block of West 30th Street, where he was found dead about 7 a.m. July 24. A trail of blood marked the path he walked.
Garcia, Ochoa and Guerrero are also charged with one count each of robbery, attempted robbery and assault with a deadly weapon for an alleged attack on a man and woman at Dockweiler Beach later that day.
The group allegedly robbed the woman, but the man managed to escape and flag down police, according to Deputy District Attorney John McKinney.