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Palm Springs quadruple murder re-trial: victim’s girlfriend testifies

Testimony resumed Tuesday in the Palm Springs quadruple murder case with the man Jose Larin Garcia's attorneys say committed the murders back on the stand.

Larin Garcia is accused of murdering four people in Palm Springs in 2019. His first trial ended earlier this year with a deadlocked jury.

The trial centered around John Olvera Monday - the man the defense argues is responsible for the killings.

https://youtu.be/SkUu3cjL0rc

Tuesday, the jury heard from Olvera again. He testified under oath he was not in the middle seat of the crashed Toyota Corolla with some of the victims and Larin Garcia, saying he had no involvement whatsoever in the four murders.

The defense pointed to Facebook posts and Instagram direct messages that appeared to show Olvera taking credit for the murders. Olvera said some of the posts were song lyrics by popular rapper NBA YoungBoy, whose music focuses on drugs and violence.

But some of the messages sent from his Instagram account, Olvera said, didn't come from him. Though he did lose a cell phone logged into his account in an altercation with Larin Garcia - in which he saw Larin Garcia with a gun.

Also on the stand Tuesday was Teresa Acosta, victim Carlos Campos Rivera's girlfriend. She showed police Facebook messages Carlos sent the night of the murders regarding the fentanyl drug deal at the heart of these murders.

Campos Rivera and victim Jacob Montgomery messaged back and forth minutes before the murders negotiating the price a round, blue fentanyl pill.

At 11:34 p.m., Jacob said, "Here." Carlos said, "Where. Gate?" Jacob said, "Going. I'm in Juan's car."

Acosta said Campos Rivera never returned. She learned from news reports the next day about the killings.

BACKGROUND:

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 four years ago.

Jose Larin Garcia, 23

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 from the hospital 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 3 IN COURT:

Last week, a family friend who harbored Larin Garcia after he fled the from the hospital testified. The jury also heard from the investigator who arrested him later that night at an Indio bus stop.

Larin Garcia's mother took the stand, revealing he called her the night of the murders and she brought him clothes and a cell phone after he ran from the hospital.

Medical examiners testified the victims were all killed instantly by gunshot wounds to the head.

A friend of the defendant spoke about a key phone call she got from the defendant just after the murders happened.

WEEK 2 IN COURT:

The jury heard from a police investigator and a friend of some of the victims.

A hospital nurse who treated Larin Garcia as a trauma patient the night of the murders testified he ran from the emergency department.

A Palm Springs police officer gave testimony key to the defense argument that another man carried out the shootings. 

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

WEEK 1 IN COURT:

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.https://youtube.com/embed/qTPiv4vZAoc

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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