Fourth defendant in homicide of USC Chinese language pupil in 2014 sentenced to life in jail

LOS ANGELES, March 8 (Xinhua) — A U.S. young man was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole Friday for his role in the 2014 murder of Ji Xinran, a Chinese graduate student in electrical engineering at the University of Southern California (USC).

Alberto Ochoa, 22, was convicted of first-degree murder, assault with a deadly weapon, second-degree robbery and attempted second-degree robbery last December.

Ochoa is the fourth and last person convicted for the murder of 24-year-old Ji.

Three other suspects were also previously convicted and sentenced for the death of Ji. Prosecutors said the group of suspects were trying to rob Ji, who was walking home from a study group near the university campus early on July 24, 2014. Ochoa struck the victim with a metal bat before he ran away.

Andrew Garcia, another defendant in the case, eventually caught up with Ji and hit him repeatedly with the bat. Ji made his way back to his apartment where he was found dead hours later by a roommate.

In August 2017, Garcia was sentenced to life in prison without parole after jurors found him guilty of first-degree murder, robbery, attempted robbery and assault with a deadly weapon.

The other members of the group Jonathan Del Carmen and Alejandra Guerrero were sentenced to 15 years to life in state prison and to life in prison without parole respectively.

The tragic death of Ji sent shock waves to Chinese students at the USC and Chinese community in the United States. In response to the incident, USC improved campus security and set up a scholarship in the name of Ji to honor his memory. The scholarship is awarded annually to an electrical engineering graduate student at USC who comes from China.

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