The Palm Springs quadruple murder re-trial for Jose Larin Garcia held a crucial battle Monday about what a defense expert will be allowed to testify for the jury.
Larin Garcia is accused of murdering four people in Palm Springs in 2019. His first trial ended with a deadlocked jury.
In a key hearing Monday outside the jury's presence, it was tensely debated whether the jury would be allowed to hear defense crime scene reconstruction Randolph Beasley's analysis of key blood spatter evidence that ultimately could decide the case.
Beasley disputes the prosecution's blood spatter report asserting Larin Garcia was the only other person in a crashed Toyota Corolla when the three victims inside where shot.
Beasley believes in the back seat, between victim Jacob Montgomery and Larin Garcia, a third person was seated in the middle – a man the defense says is responsible for the crimes.
Using life size mannequins with rotating necks and trajectory rods placed based on the victims' autopsy reports, Beasley attempted to demonstrate to the judge on the courtroom floor how it is possible the shooter could have been in the middle back seat.
Judge Anthony Villalobos pushed back, questioning how – with Larin Garcia weighing more than 300 pounds the night of the murders – a middle seat shooter would be possible.
Villalobos also wondered whether the chaos of the situation was accurately captured in this representation – with the car going 40 miles per hour over speed humps before slamming into a parked jeep and ultimately crashing into a wall.
Beasley said his is the best and most likely explanation based on the evidence, though there are other possible alternatives.