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Police officer testifies he saw ‘tall, thin’ person running from PS quadruple homicide crime scene

WEEK 2, TUESDAY:

Tuesday was another long day in court for the jury and defendant Jose Larin-Garcia, the man prosecutors say killed four victims on February 3, 2019.  

The prosecution called two police officers to the stand. 

One says on the night of the murders, he saw a tall, thin figure, in dark clothing running and limping near the crime scene. He says he called this in just before midnight, but that the individual was never found. 

In court that same police officer said he would not describe Larin-Garcia as “tall and thin.” Others in court have described Larin-Garcia as “heavyset.” 

Another Palm Springs police detective took the stand and recalled arriving on Sunny Dunes Rd. that night to find a green Toyota Corolla crashed with three victims shot and killed inside. He says victim Yuliana Garcia was driving. She had no pulse when he checked.  

The fourth victim was found a few blocks away on Canon Dr.  

This detective says Larin-Garcia was taken to Desert Regional Medical Center. He was not, however, in custody at that time. Hospital staff told him that Larin-Garcia had a blood alcohol concentration of .16 – twice the legal limit to drive. 

He recalls seeing a video of Larin-Garcia running away from the hospital that night.  

A family friend of Larin-Garcia also took the stand and said the defendant came to his home dressed in hospital clothing early in the morning on February 4, 2019. He says he helped Larin-Garcia purchase a Greyhound bus ticket from Indio to Florida.  

Prosecutors say he was arrested before he could depart.

WEEK 2, MONDAY:

Week two began in the Palm Springs quadruple homicide trial. 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.

The 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 a few blocks away.

On Monday of this week, the court heard from several witnesses including a neighbor, police detective and former friend of the accused. The friend shared that Larin-Garcia had said he wanted to rob one of the victims prior to the killings.

WEEK 1 IN COURT:

Last week on Monday, the prosecution delivered their opening statement. On Tuesday, the defense delivered their opening statement, arguing another man, John Olvera, is responsible for the four deaths.

Last week, several witnesses were called to the stand, including a Palm Springs Police Department Dispatch Supervisor, several neighbors who heard gunshots or saw the victims' bodies and individuals who knew the victims personally. The court also learned that 17-year-old victim Yuliana Garcia was pregnant at the time of her death.

News Channel 3's Madison Weil is in court listening to witnesses. While our cameras are not allowed inside in the courtroom, you can watch a live report detailing court proceedings at 5 and 6 p.m. on News Channel 3.

You can also follow Madison's live updates from court on Twitter.

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Madison Weil

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