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Palm Springs quadruple murder trial: Defense blood expert counters prosecution blood spatter report

A defense blood expert continued disputing a prosecution blood spatter report Monday in the quadruple murder trial for Jose Larin Garcia, the Cathedral City man accused of killing four people in Palm Springs in February 2019.

The debate is over where the shooter was sitting inside the car where the victims were shot.

Last week, Randolph Beasley, a forensic consultant and crime scene re-constructionist testifying for the defense, gave testimony that disputes analysis by the prosecution's blood stain pattern interpreter, Craig Ogino.

Beasley believes there were three people in the back seat of the Toyota Corolla, with victim Jacob Montgomery on the left, Larin Garcia on the right, and the shooter in the middle seat.

Blood from at least two of the victims was found on Larin Garcia's jacket. Beasley noted that victim Yuliana Garcia's blood was not found on it.

He said there was a lack of significant blood spatter on the jacket, which is not consistent with a shooter being in the 1-inch range of the victim.

Beasley said he would expect a shooter in close proximity to have more back spatter all over his face, hands and body. The prosecution's expert said there was only a blood in one area of the jacket.

Prosecutors hit back in cross examination by asking Beasley about the lack of gunshot residue on Larin Garcia's hands – something the defense has spoken a lot about. He said there wouldn't have been any gunshot residue left by the time police caught up with Larin Garcia trying to get on a bus to Florida under a fake name.


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.

Jose Larin Garcia, 22

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. 


In the sixth week, a DNA expert testified about blood found on key pieces of evidence like the like the crashed Toyota Corolla and a black jacket and pair of shoes that Jose Larin Garcia stripped off.

blood stain pattern interpreter said he believes there were only two people in the back seat of the crashed Toyota Corolla, dismantling a crucial part of the defense's argument.

The interpreter also calculated where the victims were when they got shot using blood stain pattern analysis.

A detective testified about ammunition he found in a search of the suspect's bedroom that is similar to what was discovered at the murder scene.


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."


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.


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.


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.


During the first week in court, the prosecution delivered their opening statementThe 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.

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Jake Ingrassia

Joining News Channel 3 and CBS Local 2 as a reporter, Jake is excited to be launching his broadcasting career here in the desert. Learn more about Jake here.


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