By ARIEL TU
LOS ANGELES (AP) — A woman was sentenced to life in prison on July 13 for the beating death of a University of Southern California graduate student from China, and a co-defendant was given a term of 15 years to life.
Alejandra Guerrero, 20, was sentenced on a first-degree murder conviction in the 2014 attack on 24-year-old engineering student Xinran Ji. Her prison term is without possibility of parole.
Guerrero was one of four people accused of taking part in the fatal attack on Ji as he walked home after a late-night study session.
Guerrero and Andrew Garcia, 22, who was sentenced last year to life in prison, got out of a car to beat Ji with a wrench and a baseball bat while co-defendant Jonathan Del Carmen, 23, remained in the car.
After the attack, Deputy District Attorney John McKinney said, Ji staggered to his off-campus apartment and was later found dead. Meanwhile, authorities said, Guerrero and the others drove to Dockweiler State Beach and robbed a man and a woman.
“When they got to the beach, Del Carmen explicitly told the others he didn’t want to be involved in any further crime against anyone,’’ McKinney said.
By walking away from further crime and appearing to disavow the violence his partners committed earlier by driving off, McKinney said, Del Carmen was allowed to plead guilty to second-degree murder.
Both Guerrero and Del Carmen apologized in court before they were sentenced.
Another co-defendant, Alberto Ochoa, 21, is still awaiting trial in Ji’s killing, along with the Dockweiler Beach attack.