The Palm Springs quadruple-murder retrial against Jose Larin Garcia reopened on Tuesday after a short delay.
Larin Garcia has been charged with killing four people in Palm Springs in 2019.
Judge Anthony Villalobos returned to the bench and apologized to jurors for the food poisoning incident that darkened Monday’s trial.
Defense expert and crime scene reconstructor Randolph Beasley is back on the stand after weeks of defense and prosecution questioning.
Defense attorney John Patrick Dolan continued the expert review. Dolan first asked about the murder vehicle in the incident, the blood splatters on the outside of his green 1997 Toyota Corolla.
Beasley disagreed with the prosecution’s blood splatter expert that the stain was caused by the victim, Juan Duarte Laya, being shot in the head through the passenger window.
He rather believes that Duarte Laya’s head was inside the car near the headrest.
Beasley said he heard six shots in four seconds in the audio from a nearby surveillance camera.
Experts said they did not expect Duarte Laya to stick his head out the window and be shot in such a succession.
He said there was a stranger’s blood on the driver’s side of the car and no DNA test had been done.
Beasley began speculating that the blood may have belonged to Carlos Campos Rivera, the first victim shot at an earlier crime scene a few blocks away. Jacob Montgomery was believed to have been involved in a single blue fentanyl pill drug deal.
Deputy District Attorney Samantha Paishao dissented, and the judge ruled against Beasley’s plea.
Last week, a judge ruled Thursday to rule out defense expert testing. Prosecutors questioned an experiment in February 2022 in which Beasley used her 1% milk and a “blood substitute” of red food dye.
Jose Larin Garcia, a man from Cathedral City, was charged with the murder of four people, aged 17 to 25, Carlos Campos, Jacob Montgomery, Juliana Garcia and Juan Duarte Laya, almost four years ago.
All four victims were found shot dead on the night of February 3, 2019.
Three of the victims were found in cars that had collided on the roads of Sunny Dunes and El Placer. A fourth victim was found on Canon Dr. Street a few blocks away.
When police arrived on the scene, they found Larin Garcia hiding under a truck. They say he looked drunk and covered in blood.
Larin Garcia was taken to the Desert Regional Medical Center for treatment. Security footage shows him running from the hospital later that night.
Detectives testify that he went to a friend’s house and used a false name to purchase a one-way bus ticket to Florida. Prosecutors say he was preparing to flee – shaved his head and beard to change his appearance.
Larin Garcia has been charged with four counts of murder. He is also facing special circumstances allegations that he has committed multiple murders, and if convicted he will face the death penalty.
Week 11 Court:
The prosecution sharply cross-examined the expert witnesses for the defense, the crime scene reconstructionists.
The prosecution continued to poke holes in the defense experts’ testimony.
A judge ruled out defense experts’ experiments that used milk instead of blood.
10th week in court:
The judge ruled that defense crime scene reconstructor Randolph Beasley was allowed to testify before the jury.
New details have surfaced in a prison security incident in which a suspect, Jose Larin Garcia, allegedly tampered with a lock.
Beasley aimed to recreate the crime scene in court.
The goal of the rebuild was to prove that, in this case, a Toyota Corolla could accommodate three people in the back seat.
Week 9 in court:
The defense called two Palm Springs Police Department officers to the stand to explain why the audio recording of that night no longer exists.
The judge dismissed the defendant’s plea for innocence.
Week 8 Court:
DNA experts continued to testify about apparent blood swabs from a significant piece of evidence.
A bloodstain pattern interpreter for the prosecution testified that he had calculated the victim’s final location.
The prosecutor dropped the case.
Seventh week on court:
About a month after the trial, the judge considered the defense’s claim of miscarriage of justice because new evidence was discovered about four years after the crime.
The miscarriage of justice was ultimately denied and the most adverse evidence was excluded.
The jury returned and the testimony was continued by a DNA expert.
WEEK 6 COURT:
Palm Springs detectives testified that they found various ammunition in Larin Garcia’s bedroom.
A judge acquitted jurors for nearly a month after new incriminating evidence previously thought to be lost was discovered.
Week 5 in court:
A forensic toxicologist testified whether drugs or alcohol were detected in the victim’s blood samples. In this case he said that the fingerprint inspector who processed the seven 9 mm bullet casings found no fingerprints on them.
A Justice Department criminal and weapons expert told jurors after examining the bullet casings at the scene that he believed they were all fired from the same weapon.
The jury listened to hours of recordings of the undercover operation in Larin Garcia’s cell.
An undercover investigator testified about what Larin Garcia told him while posing as an inmate in prison.
Fourth week in court:
A friend of Larin Garcia told jurors that days before the murder, the defendant showed him a gun and threatened to kill someone.
A PSPD detective testified about the evidence she collected from the scene and a security video showing Larin Garcia fleeing the hospital.
A girlfriend of one of the victims talked about showing police Facebook messages sent the night of the murders regarding the fentanyl drug trade at the center of these murders.
The man whose defense attorneys claim was responsible for the murder testified that he did not kill the four victims in the incident.
Third week in court:
A family friend who sheltered Larin Garcia after he fled the hospital last week testified.
Larin Garcia’s mother took the stand and revealed that he called her on the night of the murder, and she brought him clothes and a cell phone after he fled the hospital.
The coroner testified that all victims died instantly from gunshot wounds to the head.
A friend of the defendant told of an important phone call from the defendant shortly after the murder occurred.
Second week in court:
The jury heard from police investigators and friends of the victim.
A nurse at the hospital who treated Larin Garcia as a trauma patient on the night of the murder testified that he had fled the emergency department.
A Palm Springs police officer gave key testimony in the defense’s allegation that another man carried out the shooting.
The jury was taken to the crime scene.
First week in court:
In her opening statement, prosecutor and deputy district attorney Samantha Paishao asked the jury to hold Larin Garcia responsible for the four lives stolen.
Defense attorney John Patrick Dolan claimed that another man, John Olvera, was responsible for the murder.
Jurors heard from several people who first appeared at the scene after the murder, including neighbors who saw the corpse and the police officer who had first made contact with the suspect.