In the sixth week of the murder trial for the man accused of killing four people in Palm Springs in 2019, a detective testified about ammunition he found in a search of the suspect's bedroom.
Police went to defendant Jose Larin Garcia's home after the Feb. 2019 murders and searched his bedroom, where Palm Springs Police Dept. Detective Edman Escallada said he found numerous rounds of 9mm ammunition, which ranged across at least five different manufacturers.
Some of the bullets were cased in steel, others in brass, Escallada said. But despite their different makers and markings, he said they can be used in the same gun.
Photos shown to the jury depicted a 9mm Glock magazine found in Larin Garcia's room with a mix of brands of 9mm ammunition loaded inside.
The judge said outside juror's presence that he's seen hundreds of cases, but never several brands of ammo inside a single clip.
Earlier in the case, a Department of Justie forensics specialist said the gun used was a 9mm semi-automatic handgun.
Prosecutors say bullet casings found inside a Toyota Corolla where three of the victims were shot match a casing found in Larin Garcia's car.
Good morning, it's the start of the 6th week in the quadruple murder trial for Jose Larin Garcia.— Jake Ingrassia (@JakeKESQ) January 31, 2022
You can follow my live updates from the courtroom in the thread below. @KESQ
More background: https://t.co/ewn4hbadme
Last week, an undercover agent who posed as an inmate in Larin Garcia's jail cell said the suspect told him detectives had his gun.
But investigators never found a murder weapon, and the defense says that's a big hole in this case.
Detective Escallada also spoke to Larin Garcia's mother, who showed him a voicemail from hours after the murders.
He said Larin Garcia is heard saying, "Hey mom, it's me – they're gonna arrest me."
Jose Larin Garcia, a Cathedral City man, is accused of killing four people (ages 17-25): Carlos Campos, Jacob Montgomery, Yuliana Garcia and Juan Duarte Raya nearly three years ago.
The four victims were all found shot and killed on the night of February 3rd, 2019.
Three of the victims were found inside a car that crashed at Sunny Dunes and El Placer roads. The fourth victim was discovered in the street on Canon Dr. few blocks away.
When police arrived on scene, they found Larin Garcia hiding under a truck. They say he appeared intoxicated and covered in blood.
Larin Garcia was taken to Desert Regional Medical Center for treatment. Security footage shows him running away from the property later that night.
Detectives have testified he then went to a friend’s house who he had buy him a one-way bus ticket to Florida using a fake name. Prosecutors say he was preparing to flee – shaving his head and beard to change his appearance. He was arrested waiting at the bus stop.
Larin Garcia is charged with four counts of murder. He also faces a special-circumstance allegation of committing multiple murders, opening him to the death penalty if convicted.
WEEK 5 IN COURT:
During the fifth week, the defense worked to prove that Larin Garcia was framed. A forensic investigator testified she didn't plant evidence, but some errors could have been made in the processing of evidence.
A Coroner's office forensic pathologist revealed autopsies for two of the victims found multiple gunshot wounds to the head as the causes of death.
A PSPD investigator testified he didn't plant a bullet casing in the suspect's trunk to frame him.
An undercover agent who posed as an inmate in Larin Garcia's jail cell after the murders testified the suspect told him he was "screwed."
WEEK 4 IN COURT:
In the fourth week, there was an intense debate over whether Jose Larin Garcia fled the hospital following the February 2019 killings.
Jurors heard from key forensic experts: a crime scene technician, a fingerprint examiner and a blood expert.
Crucial testimony was set up from undercover agents who posed as inmates and spoke with the defendant at length after the crimes.
WEEK 3 IN COURT:
The third week in this trial, jurors heard from John Olvera, the 18-year-old who the defense argues is actually responsible. Police investigated posts on his social media accounts that appeared to take credit for the murders, but Olvera testified in several instances he was publishing rap lyrics or "fronting" as a "wannabe gangster."
Department of Justice forensics specialist Nancy McCombs testified and said the multiple bullet casings that were recovered could have come from the same gun. No weapon was ever found in the investigation.
Prosecutors poked holes in testimony from one witness who changed his previous account on the stand, and Palm Springs police investigators testified about the evidence collected from the scene.
WEEK 2 IN COURT:
During the second week in court, the jury heard from Larin Garcia's mother, who says she received a call from her son on the night of the murders.
Two police officers who responded on the night of the murders also took the stand. One testified he saw a 'tall, thin' figure running near one of the crime scenes, but that person was never found or brought in for questioning. Larin-Garcia is not described as tall or thin. The court also heard from a family friend of Larin Garcia who helped him buy a one-way ticket to Florida the day after the murders. Larin Garcia was arrested before he could depart.
The court also heard from several witnesses including a neighbor, police detective and former friend of the accused. The friend shared that Larin Garcia had said he wanted to rob one of the victims prior to the killings.
WEEK 1 IN COURT:
During the first week in court, the prosecution delivered their opening statement. The defense then delivered their opening statement, arguing another man, John Olvera, is responsible for the four deaths.
Several witnesses were called to the stand, including a Palm Springs Police Department Dispatch Supervisor, several neighbors who heard gunshots or saw the victims' bodies, and individuals who knew the victims personally. The court also learned that 17-year-old victim Yuliana Garcia was pregnant at the time of her death.