The judge made the ruling Tuesday morning after reading reports by two psychiatrists who evaluated the defendant, David Jonathan Brown. The ruling means Brown could spend the rest of his life in a state psychiatric hospital.
Brown is accused of attacking and stabbing Siaufung Tjan, more commonly known as Bosco, in his office on USC’s campus. Deputy District Attorney Beth Silverman told the judge that Brown was apprehended on campus shortly after he fled from the office.
In response to the ruling, Provost Michael Quick stated in an email to Annenberg Media that the ruling is reminder of Tjan's dedication to the university.
"He will be remembered not only for his impact on the science of vision, but for how much of himself he gave to his colleagues and students. Professor Tjan will forever be a member of the Trojan Family."
Tjan started working at USC in 2001 and was a professor of psychology at Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences. He ran a laboratory that researched perception, vision and vision cognition. Brown was Tjan's assistant and pursued a Ph.D under his guidance. The stabbing occurred on the last day of classes before winter break.
Hundreds of USC students, faculty members and administrators gathered in the center of campus near the Tommy Trojan statue on campus the week following the homicide in remembrance of Tjan.
During the hearing, the victim's wife, Carissa Pang, said, "He was not a soldier in a war zone or policeman in a dangerous street. He was murdered in his research lab."
"I feel helpless when my son asked me why his father was killed," she says.
Pang also raised many questions including why Brown didn't seek medical attention prior to the attack.
Pang mentioned that she and her husband were planning on going to Hong Kong for his mother's 80th birthday. Instead, Tjan's mother had to make the voyage to attend her son's funeral.
Brown’s defense attorney told Pang that Brown’s family “gives their condolences and hopes that [she finds] some solace.”
There will be another hearing determining the result of Brown's trial on March 6.
This post was updated at 11:06 a.m. PST with a quote from Provost Michael Quick. Reporter Sofia Bosch contributed to this story on January 31, 2018.