|Suspect admits Chinese student murders in US
A man accused of murdering two Chinese students in Los Angeles in 2012 pleaded guilty Wednesday and was immediately jailed for life, as the victims' parents spoke of their desolation.
Bryan Barnes, 21, admitted two charges of first degree murder over the shooting deaths of Ying Wu and Ming Qu, killed as they sat in a car in April 2012 near the University of Southern California campus, AFP reports.
LA Superior Court Judge Stephen Marcus told the victims' parents he was ''deeply sorry'' and hoped the court proceedings would provide "some measure of justice.'' A co-defendant, Javier Bolden, is still awaiting trial.
The victims, both 23 years old, were studying electrical engineering at USC and had planned to marry.
Xiyong Wu said his daughter had come to America with a dream, and planned to return to China after graduating.
"Every life deserves respect, and he has no right to take away my daughter's life,'' he said through an interpreter. "My daughter is gone, so is my hope.
"Our tears have not dried, and the only reason that gives us courage to live is waiting to see today... My family and I want to see the murderer receive his due punishment,'' he said.
Wanzhi Qu said his son "came with beautiful dreams but died tragically.''
"After my son passed away, my wife and I always wake up crying at night. In our dreams, our beloved son is covered in blood, crying out to us, 'Dad, I am so cold. I suffered a horrible death for absolutely no reason! You must help me get justice!' Qu added.
"Son, I am here today to help you get justice.''
Qu said he had been excited that his son had fallen in love with Ying Wu, whom he was looking forward to meeting.
"But, in only nine days, our joy had turned to mourning because you killed them in cold blood,'' he said, addressing Barnes directly. "Our children left us and you took our heart and soul away.
"You devastated our lives. You deserve the death penalty.''
Barnes and Bolden were arrested in May 2012 after being traced by the dead couple's stolen cell phones. They have been held in custody without bail since then.
"This was a horrific tragedy,'' the judge said after giving Barnes two life prison terms without parole for the double murder, which detectives said appeared to be a carjacking gone wrong.
Barnes avoided a possible execution by pleading guilty.
Bolden, 21, is due back in court March 12 for a pretrial hearing. Prosecutors have not yet decided whether they will seek the death penalty against him.