Two men facing the death penalty for the murder of two Chinese students in Los Angeles have pleaded not guilty, AFP reports. They will remain in custody without bail until they are due back in court.

Engineering students in the University of Southern California, Ming Qu and Ying Wu, both 23, were shot while they were inside a car in downtown LA last April. The suspects, Byran Barnes, 20, and Javier Bolden, 19, were charged with different accounts of attempted murder in separate incidents, after being arrested in May. Both men pleaded not guilty while Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge, Shelly Torrealba, ordered for them to remain in jail without bail until they are due back in court on September 20. The hearing will decide whether enough evidence would allow them to stand trial over the murder charges.

The University of Southern California is described in its website as “ranked among the safest of US universities and colleges.” The parents of the victims sued USC for the killings stating that the university “actively solicits international students, particularly from China” who pay “substantial sum” for its graduate studies program.