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Palm Springs quadruple murder re-trial: nurse testifies suspect ran from hospital

As testimony continued Wednesday in the re-trial for Jose Larin Garcia, the man who's accused of murdering four people in Palm Springs in 2019, the jury heard from a nurse who treated the suspect as a trauma patient.

News Channel 3's cameras were denied by the judge to film witness testimony. Larin Garcia's first trial ended earlier this year with a deadlocked jury.

Desert Regional Medical Center emergency department nurse Rachel Johns was on the stand.

According to hospital records from the night of the murders, officers were unable to retrieve Larin Garcia's bloody clothes. Johns said they may have been cut off his body and could have been destroyed.

Hospital records from that night show Larin Garcia was supposed to be taken into Palm Springs police custody.

Around 3 a.m., he became uncooperative and minutes later did not wait for discharge instructions, running out of the emergency department on his own and leaving his belongings behind, including the blood clothes.

Security footage shows the moment Larin Garcia ran.

A neighbor near the crime scene whose Nest camera captured several bangs and a crash testified. The video's audio appears to capture the gunfire.

The defense asked about a tall, slim man one police officer said he saw running hunched over, limping away from the area. The neighbor said he saw something move on the video, but couldn't say with certainty what.

Palm Springs Police Dept. Sgt. Pedro Nanez responded to the shots fired call that night.

Nanez said he heard the radio call about an injured man leaving the location, but he said what he heard was someone "walking" away. He doesn't recall hearing the man was "running" or hunched over.

Tuesday, a Palm Springs police officer gave testimony key to the defense argument that another man carried out the shootings. Officer Johnathan Mosley said he saw a tall, thin man in dark clothes running away, limping from the location.

The defense argues this is the man who actually committed the murders. Prosecutors say the argument is a "red herring."

Monday, the jury was brought on-location to the scene of the crimes.

To begin the second week of the new trial, jurors loaded onto a bus from the Larson Justice Center in Indio to Palm Springs to view for themselves the area where the shootings happened.

Week 1

During opening statements, prosecutor and Deputy District Attorney Samantha Paixao asked the jury to hold Larin Garcia responsible for the four lives she said he stole.

Defense attorney John Patrick Dolan argued that another man, John Olvera, was responsible for the murders.

The jury heard from some of the first people on scene after the murders, including neighbors who saw the dead bodies and the police officer who first made contact with the suspect.

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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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