LOS ANGELES, Aug. 12 (Xinhua) -- Four suspects of killing a Chinese students in Los Angeles pleaded not guilty Tuesday in a hearing.
Jonathan Del Carmen, 19 and Andrew Garcia, 18, along with Alberto Ochoa, 17, and Alejandra Guerrero, 16, are accused of attacking and killing Xinran Ji, 24, a University of Southern California graduate student, on early morning July 24 off the campus.
The criminal complaint alleges that Garcia, Ochoa and Guerrero used deadly weapons -- a bat and a wrench -- during the crime, in which authorities said Ji was beaten and struck on the head.
Ji, an electrical engineering student from China, managed to walk back to his apartment nearby but was found dead a couple of hours later due to the injury from the attack.
The criminal complaint includes the special-circumstance allegation that the murder occurred during an attempted robbery. Prosecutors will decide later whether to seek the death penalty against Del Carmen and Garcia. Ochoa and Guerrero, who were charged as adults, cannot face the death penalty because they are under 18.
The suspects are due back in court on Sept. 12, when a date will be set for a hearing to determine if there is enough evidence for them to stand trial.
Garcia, Ochoa and Guerrero are also charged with robbery. They allegely attempted to rob with a deadly weapon a man and a woman at Dockweiler Beach later that day.