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Palm Springs quadruple murder re-trial: PSPD detective testifies

Wednesday in the Palm Springs quadruple murder trial for Jose Larin Gracia, investigators revealed key information about evidence they collected from the scene and the defendant's car.

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

Palm Springs Police Detective Lauren Bixler responded to East Sunny Dunes Road near Desert Way the night of the murders. She carefully collected several bullet fragments or casings from the scene and booked them into evidence.

Bixler said she examined the area under a silver Dodge pickup truck where police discovered Larin Garcia hiding. She noticed stains on the ground that could have been blood and collected them.

She examined an extra large H&M puffer style jacket with some possible blood stains and tears to the fabric. Bixler also collected black shoes with what appeared to her as possible blood.

She later went to Desert Regional Medical Center and reviewed security footage of the moment larin Garcia left. Still in his hospital scrubs, he is seen running down the hallway, leaving hospital staff shrugging.

Palm Springs police investigator Chris Duthaler searched Larin Garcia's Honda Civic after the murders. He found a zip lock bag with a spent bullet casing that prosecutors said links Larin Garcia to the murders. The defense said it was planted there but Duthaler told the jury he photographed everything exactly as he found it and did not put the casing there to frame Larin Garcia.

Tuesday Teresa Acosta, victim Carlos Campos Rivera's girlfriend, told the jury about showing police Facebook messages Carlos sent the night of the murders regarding the fentanyl drug deal at the heart of these murders.

John Olvera, the man the defense says is guilty, testified under oath he had no involvement whatsoever in the four murders.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-h3sV4b5PY4

News Channel 3's Jake Ingrassia is tracking live updates from the courtroom: follow along here.

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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