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2nd defendant convicted in killing of USC student from China

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A young man was convicted Thursday of first-degree murder in the beating death of a Chinese graduate student at the University of Southern California as he walked to his off-campus apartment.

Andrew Garcia, 21, was the second of four defendants to be tried in the slaying of Xinran Ji, 24, during a robbery attempt in 2014.

He was also convicted of robbery, attempted robbery and assault with a deadly weapon. Sentencing was set for July 11.

Authorities said Ji was attacked with a baseball bat and wrench as he walked home after a late-night study session.

The electrical engineering student ran from his attackers but they caught him and continued the beating until he was on his knees.

Ji managed to stagger to his apartment, where a roommate found him dead in bed in the morning.

Authorities said that after the attack the four assailants drove to a beach where they approached a man and woman. The woman was robbed but the man managed to escape and flag down police officers on patrol.

Alejandra Guerrero, now 19, was convicted of first-degree murder and other charges last year. She was 16 at the time of the attack but was tried as an adult.

Jonathan Del Carmen, 22, and Alberto Ochoa, 20, are awaiting trial separately in connection with Ji’s death.

The killing of Ji renewed concerns about the safety of Chinese students at USC. In April 2011, two Chinese students were shot to death as they sat in a parked car about a mile from the campus. One of two assailants pleaded guilty to the murders and the other was convicted at trial.

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