Alejandra Guerrero guilty of the murder of USC Chinese graduate student, Xinran Ji. How a teen’s prejudice and racism informed her decision to terrorize.
Alejandra Guerrero an 18 year old California woman was on Thursday convicted of first degree murder in the 2014 beating of a Chinese graduate student at USC.
The woman’s guilty verdict comes as Guerrero was the first of four people to be tried in relation to the slaying of Xinran Ji, who was walking home home after a late-night study session when he was attacked.
The suspects, all teens at the time, previously told cops they targeted the 24-year-old engineering student because ‘he was Chinese’ so ‘he must have money.’
At the time of the attack, circa 12:45 a.m, July 24, 2014, the victim managed to return to his fourth-floor apartment after the assault, leaving a trail of blood behind him. Nevertheless the 24 year old student fatally succumbed to his injuries, with room-mates finding Xinran Ji dead the following morning.
Guerrero, 16 at the time of the attack notes the Los Angeles Times could face up to life in prison without parole when she is sentenced on Nov. 28.
Told prosecutor John McKinney during trial proceeding: ‘The victim was also young,’
Referencing the accused, Alejandra Guerrero, the DA said: ‘She took a leadership role in the crime.’
Adding: ‘This is not your average 16-year-old. Your average 16-year-old does not engage in savage behavior like this for fun, for kicks.’
The deputy district attorney said Guerrero had ‘plenty of opportunities to not directly participate’ in the attack on Ji, telling jurors that there was no evidence that Guerrero had been coerced to get out of the car to confront the victim.
Prior to the victim’s bludgeoning death, the deputy DA told how Guerrero posted in Facebook messages about wanting to ‘flock’ people, using a term for robbery, before the attack. The prosecutor said she talked about wanting to rob white and Chinese people.
In his closing argument, McKinney told the seven-woman, five-man jury that Guerrero ‘minimizes her own involvement’ by saying she hit Ji on the hand with a wrench. The prosecutor also said the teen lied to police.
Awaiting trial are Jonathan Del Carmen, 21, Andrew Garcia, 20, and Alberto Ochoa, 19. They are expected to be tried in November.
A report via abc7 notes prosecutors deciding not to seek the death penalty against Del Carmen and Garcia. Guerrero and Ochoa were spared the possibility of capital punishment because they were minors at the time of the crime.
At the time of the crime, the DA’s office told of the four suspects driving around looking for someone to rob when they saw Ji. Surveillance cameras captured Ji surrounded by a group of people on a dark street and then being chased.
Prosecutors say the four teens attempted to rob a couple at a Los Angeles Beach after the brutal attack.