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New ‘lost’ evidence in Palm Springs quadruple murder retrial to be DNA tested

The defense team in a quadruple murder retrial could file for a mistrial after new evidence was recently discovered.

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

Jurors were excused last week for nearly a month while the prosecution and defense work through the so-called "lost" evidence, which includes a bullet casing and a cigarette butt.

The items, which have been sent out for DNA testing, appear to have been collected with debris and broken glass surrounding the crashed Toyota Corolla in which three of the victims were shot in February 2019.

Testimony has shown the debris was not collected by police, but instead was swept up by a tow truck driver and later booked into evidence.

Prosecutors said due to the high temperature of the desert, DNA retrieval is extremely unlikely. The items have reportedly been stored in a trash bag in the back of the Corolla for the last 3.5 years.

It was not revealed why the casing and cigarette butt were recently discovered, or what impact the new evidence could have on the trial.

The defense said it will first file a motion to exclude the evidence from the trial. If that is denied, Larin Garcia's legal team plans to file for a mistrial or even a dismissal of the case.

Judge Anthony Villalobos said Wednesday a mistrial would be a drastic measure, and he would consider other options.

The next hearing on the new evidence is planned for Dec. 5.

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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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