LOS ANGELES -- One of two men charged with the 2012 fatal shootings of two Chinese graduate students pleaded guilty Wednesday to two counts of first-degree murder and was immediately sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Bryan Barnes, 21, also admitted the special circumstances of multiple murders, murder during a robbery and that he personally fired a gun, killing the students, the district attorney's office said.
Ming Qu, 23, and Ying Wu, 23, were shot to death on April 11, 2012, as they sat in a car about a mile from the University of Southern California, where they were engineering graduate students.
The fathers of both victims addressed the court about the loss to their families before the punishment was announced.
Barnes was sentenced by Superior Court Judge Stephen Marcus to two terms of life in prison without the possibility of parole plus two terms of 25 years to life.
Prosecutor Daniel Akemon also asked the judge to dismiss an unrelated charge of attempted murder that was pending against Barnes.
Barnes' plea leaves co-defendant Javier Bolden, 21, awaiting trial on murder charges. He has pleaded not guilty. A pretrial conference in his case is scheduled for March 21. Prosecutors have not decided whether to seek the death penalty if Bolden is convicted.