News Releases

July 29, 2014: Four Teens Charged with Murder in USC Grad Student Death

Jane Robison, Assistant Media Chief

Three males and a female, all under 20, were charged today with capital murder in the beating death of a 24-year-old USC graduate student whose body was found Thursday, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Jonathan Del Carmen (dob 6/02/95), Andrew Garcia (dob 12/19/95), Alberto Ochoa (dob 1/23/97), and Alejandra Guerrero (dob 6/02/98) are scheduled to be arraigned after 1:30 p.m. today at the Foltz Criminal Justice Center in Department 30. Prosecutors will ask that they be held without bail.

Deputy District Attorney John McKinney with the Major Crimes Division is assigned to the case.

The four are charged in case BA427590 with one count each of murder of Xinran Ji with the special circumstance of murder during an attempted robbery. Ochoa, Garcia and Guerrero are each charged with a special allegation that they personally used a dangerous weapon, a bat.

Ji, an engineering student from China, was walking home from a study group when he was attacked by a group of three males and one female juvenile who tried to rob him. The attack occurred about 12:45 a.m. Thursday near the corner of 29th Street and Orchard Avenue, a few blocks from the USC campus.

Police said Ji was beaten and struck on the head with a bat. He managed to make his way back to his apartment in the 1200 block of West 30th Street, where his body was discovered about 7 a.m. by a roommate.

Following the USC attack, the group drove to Dockweiler Beach. McKinney said Garcia, Ochoa and Guerrero allegedly approached a man and woman. They allegedly robbed the woman, but the man managed to escape and flag down police, who were patrolling in the area, the prosecutor said.

Garcia, Ochoa and Guerrero also are charged with one count each of second-degree robbery, attempted second-degree robbery and assault with a deadly weapon, a bat, involving the second incident.

Prosecutors will decide later whether to seek the death penalty against Garcia and Del Carmen.

Because of their ages, Ochoa and Guerrero are not eligible for the death penalty. If convicted, they each face life in prison without the possibility of parole.

The case remains under investigation by the Los Angeles Police Department.