LOS ANGELES >> A 21-year-old man was sentenced today to life in prison without parole for beating to death a University of Southern California graduate student from China who was walking to his off-campus apartment.
Andrew Garcia, who was convicted of first-degree murder and other charges earlier this summer, was sentenced by Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge George Lomeli.
Four people attacked 24-year-old Xinran Ji, using a baseball bat and wrench, as he walked home after a late-night study session in 2014, authorities said.
Ji managed to get to his apartment, where a roommate found him dead hours later.
Ji’s family wept during the sentencing. His father, Songbo Ji, sobbed as he told the court in Mandarin that his son was killed viciously.
“People like our age are now prepping their daughter’s and their son’s wedding, and their life is full of joy. But every day instead for us we are paying tribute to our son, crying,” the father said through an interpreter.
Garcia was the second of four defendants to go to trial. A young woman was convicted of the murder last year and is awaiting sentencing. Two more defendants await trial.
After the attack on Ji, prosecutors said, Garcia and the others drove to Dockweiler State Beach and robbed a man and a woman.
Garcia was also convicted of robbery, attempted robbery and assault with a deadly weapon. A so-called special circumstance allegation of murder during an attempted robbery was found to be true.