News Releases

July 2, 2019: Man Charged With Capital Murder of USC Student

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Greg Risling, Assistant Media Chief
(213) 257-2000

A suspected gang member was charged today with killing a University of Southern California student during an attempted robbery in March, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Ivan Hernandez (dob 12/7/95) was charged in case BA479107 with one count of murder with the special circumstance allegations of murder during the course of an attempted robbery and murder while he is an active participant in a criminal street gang, making him eligible for the death penalty. He also faces one count of attempted robbery.

Hernandez is expected to be arraigned today in Department 30 of the Foltz Criminal Justice Center.

Deputy District Attorney John McKinney of the Major Crimes Division is prosecuting the case.

On March 10, Hernandez is accused of fatally shooting Victor McElhaney, 21, about a mile from the USC campus. The defendant was allegedly trying to rob the victim and a group of his friends, the prosecutor said.

McElhaney was taken to a nearby hospital where he died.

If convicted as charged, the defendant faces a possible maximum sentence of life in state prison without the possibility of parole or death. A decision on whether to seek the death penalty will be made at a later date.

The case remains under investigation by the Los Angeles Police Department’s Robbery-Homicide Division.