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California Man Gets Life in Prison for 2014 Murder of Chinese Student

FILE - Andrew Garcia, left, appears in Los Angeles Superior Court with a public defender, Jan. 12, 2015, as one of four defendants charged in connection with the 2014 beating death of USC graduate student Xinran Ji during an attempted robbery. Garcia was convicted June 8, 2017, of first-degree murder and sentenced Aug. 16 to life in prison without parole.

A California Superior Court judge Wednesday sentenced a 21-year-old man in the 2014 murder and robbery of a Chinese engineering student to life in prison without parole.

Andrew Garcia is one of four people charged with the murder of Xinran Ji, 24, a graduate student at the University of Southern California.

Some of Ji's relatives came from Beijing and tearfully read statements in the courtroom before Garcia was sentenced.

Garcia and three others were charged with attacking Ji with a baseball bat and wrench as he walked home after studying late on July 24, 2014.

Ji managed to escape the attackers and staggered home, leaving a trail of blood behind him. His roommate found him dead in their apartment several hours later.

Prosecutors say the defendants attacked him because Ji was Chinese and they thought he had money.

A young woman has also been tried and convicted and is awaiting sentencing. Two other suspects have yet to be tried.

Ji's murder came two years after two other Chinese students at USC were killed during a robbery.

The university has since boosted security in the neighborhood around the Los Angeles campus.