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Defendant said he ‘was gonna kill’ someone days before Palm Springs quadruple murders: witness

Crucial testimony was revealed Thursday in the re-trial for Jose Larin Garcia.

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

Kevin Martinez, Larin Garcia's friend, said the defendant showed him a gun and threatened to kill someone just days before the murders.

Martinez was offered immunity in the courts for prior robbery cases in exchange for his testimony.

Four days before the Feb. 3, 2019 murders, Larin Garcia, AKA "Vladis," picked Martinez up to smoke marijuana together.

Vladis was talking about "setting up" Jacob Montgomery, Martinez testified, meaning to rob him. Vladis reached into the back seat, pulled out a pistol-style gun and put it in his lap. Martinez said this led him to believe Vladis had the intent to kill Montgomery.

Martinez said Vladis's behavior that night was different from other times they would hang out. He quoted Vladis as saying, "If he didn't get no f**king pu**y, he was gonna kill a ni**a."

They drove around the Desert Highland Gateway Estates neighborhood in Palm Springs and Martinez at the time believed Larin Garcia was going to shoot someone.

They didn't see anyone out and about, so Martinez said that night, no one got shot.

Wednesday, Palm Springs Police Detective Lauren Bixler testified about evidence she collected from the scene. She also spoke about retrieving security video of Larin Garcia running out of the hospital.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=13-e3mX5GP0

News Channel 3's Jake Ingrassia is in the courtroom tweeting live updates: 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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