The jury in the re-trial for Jose Larin Garcia heard from a police investigator and a friend of some of the victims Thursday.
Larin Garcia is accused of murdering four people in Palm Springs in 2019. His first trial ended earlier this year with a deadlocked jury.
News Channel 3's cameras were denied by the judge to film witness testimony.
Good morning - we are back in the courtroom today awaiting testimony to resume in Larin Garcia's re-trial. He's accused of killing four people in 2019 in Palm Springs. Follow along with my updates from court in the thread below. @KESQ https://t.co/Aup5vihUeL— Jake Ingrassia (@JakeKESQ) October 6, 2022
Palm Springs Police Investigator Steve Grissom was on the stand Thursday. He responded to the scene the night of the murders, and to the hospital where Larin Garcia was taken just after.
The defense argues a man named John Olvera is responsible for the murders. Days after, a Palm Springs High School student showed police Instagram messages from the account @johnolvera69.
One read, "I'll kill every last one of u," and another said, "I never meant that girl to die."
Investigator Grissom looked into these messages, but never personally met Olvera.
Olvera himself is expected to testify later in this case.
Also on the stand was Saul Murillo, a friend of victims Jacob Montgomery, Juan Duarte Raya and Yuliana Garcia.
Murillo said he saw them around 11:20 p.m. the night they were murdered, with another "heavyset Hispanic" person he did not know or recognize. He said the male was referred to as "Vladis," which prosecutors believe is short for Jose Vladimir Larin Garcia.
That was the last time Murillo said he ever saw his friends alive.
Wednesday, the jury heard from a nurse who treated the suspect as a trauma patient. Desert Regional Medical Center emergency department nurse Rachel Johns shared how Larin Garcia ran from the hospital before being discharged into police custody.
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.