LOS ANGELES (AFP) – A judge in California sentenced a 21-year-old man to life in prison on Wednesday in connection with the beating death of a university graduate student from China.
Andrew Garcia is the second person convicted in the July 2014 killing of Ji Xinran, a 24-year-old electrical engineering student at the University of Southern California.
Two other people are awaiting trial in the case, which rattled the university’s Chinese community and prompted the school, located in downtown Los Angeles, to boost security.
Ji was beaten by his attackers and hit with a baseball bat and a wrench as he walked home from a study group late on July 24th, 2014, authorities said.
He managed to flee and staggered back to his apartment, where he was found dead hours later by a roommate.
Prosecutors said his attackers, who included a teenage girl, targeted him because he was Chinese and they thought he had cash on him.
Several members of Ji’s family, some of whom traveled from China, tearfully read statements on Wednesday during the sentencing hearing for Garcia, who showed no emotion.
Ji’s killing took place two years after two other USC students from China were shot to death during a robbery as they sat in a car.
Nearly 5,000 of USC’s international student population of 10,500 are from China, according to the school’s website.
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