LOS ANGELES, Feb. 5 (Xinhua) -- A Californian court on Wednesday sentenced one of the two suspects involved in a double murder of Chinese students to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Bryan Barnes, 21, pleaded guilty to shooting dead Ying Wu and Ming Qu, two Chinese graduate students from the University of South California(USC), according to the Superior Court of California for Los Angeles County.
Co-defendant Javier Bolden, 21, is due back in court on March 12 for a pretrial hearing. Prosecutors have not yet decided whether they will seek death penalty against Bolden.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Stephen Marcus told the victims' parents that he was "deeply sorry" for their loss and hoped the court proceeding would help them "get some measure of justice."
"This was a horrific tragedy," the judge said after ordering Barnes to serve two consecutive life prison terms without parole, plus 50 years to life.
In their statement on court, Wu's parents and Qu's father called for death penalty for the two murderers.
Wu's father said his family has waited almost two years for justice for his daughter, who came to the United States with a dream and great expectation for her future.
"Every life deserves respect, and he has no right to take away my daughter's life. My daughter is gone, so is my hope," he said, adding that the only thing that sustained him was to see the murderer receive his due punishment.
Qu's father described his son as a straight-A student and brilliant young man, who came to the United States with beautiful dreams but only died a tragical death.
"After my son passed away, my wife and I always wake up crying at night. In our dreams, our beloved son is covered in blood, crying out to us to get him justice," he said.
Yuan Dong, education consul from the Chinese Consulate General in Los Angeles, said the final judgment shows the justice of law.
He also urged local authorities to strengthen public security and improve protection of the life and property of Chinese and other minorities living in the area.
Wu and Qu, both 23 years old, were graduate students majoring in electrical engineering. They were shot dead in their car near the USC campus at midnight on April 11, 2012 .
Barnes and Bolden have been jailed without bail since being arrested on May 18, 2012 for their suspected involvement in the double-murder case.