Man gets life for killing Chinese student

By Lia Zhu in San Francisco | China Daily USA | Updated: 2017-08-18 13:00

Man gets life for killing Chinese student

A portrait of Ji Xinran next to a flower arrangement. ROBERT GAUTHIER VIA AP

One of four defendants who fatally bashed Chinese student Ji Xinran during a robbery in 2014 has been sentenced to life in prison without parole.

Andrew Garcia, 21, and three others beat Ji to death with a baseball bat and a wrench when he was walking back to his off-campus apartment from a study group after midnight.

Ji managed to get home, where a roommate found him dead hours later. A trail of blood traced the quarter-mile-long path he walked back to his apartment.

At that time, Ji was a 24-year-old graduate student at the University of Southern California. The four defendants were all teenagers.

Ji's parents, aunt and uncle traveled from Inner Mongolia to attended Wednesday's hearing at Los Angeles County Superior Court. The father, Ji Songbo, wept and implored the court to hand down the most severe sentence, according to a report in the World Journal.

"People like Xinran's age are going to get married and have children. People like our age are now preparing their children's weddings, which is full of joy. But instead, we are now paying tribute to our son, crying," the father said through an interpreter.

Ji Xinran's aunt Du Zhaohui told the hearing that the whole family was proud of Ji, who graduated from Zhejiang University and received offers from graduate programs at six US universities. He was an only child.

"His life was taken by these demons," Du was reported as saying. "They robbed and killed an innocent and talented young man, with very vicious means."

She said the family had been looking forward to the sentencing the past three years. "Each of the past over 1,000 days is a painful struggle," she said.

The father told World Journal that the family was satisfied with the sentence. He said his son's death was not in vain, as it served as a safety alert for other overseas Chinese students.

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