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Mother of man accused of killing four people in Palm Springs testifies in court

WEEK 2 IN COURT:

The mother of Jose Larin-Garcia, the man accused of gunning down four people in Palm Springs, was called to the stand on Wednesday. 

She was tearful on the stand as she faced her son. Through a translator, she explained in the early hours of February. 4th 2019, she received a voicemail from her son. 

Prosecutors read a transcript that indicated Larin-Garcia told his mother officers were going to arrest him in a voicemail. His mother said she recalls a phone call with him where he admitted he was “intoxicated and scared.” 

This was just after Larin-Garcia was found hiding under a truck near the crime scene and told officers he had “just witnessed a murder.” He was taken to Desert Regional Medical Center where security cameras caught him running away. 

After the phone call with his mother, she says she brought her son a cell phone and a change of clothes. 

Officers showed up to investigate Larin-Garcia’s family home in Cathedral City. While they did not find Larin-Garcia, did they did find a 9mm bullet in his bedroom. Prosecutors say the bullet matches the ammunition used in the killings of the four victims. 

Carlos Campos Rivera was found lying in the street on Canon Drive, Jacob Montgomery, Yuliana Garcia and Juan Duarte Raya were found shot and killed inside a car a few blocks away on E Sunny Dunes Road. 

On Wednesday, the jury also heard from a lead investigator who described surveilling Larin-Garcia’s home and family in the hours after the crime. 

He said his team ultimately found him around 7 p.m. -- less than 24 hours after the murders. Larin-Garcia was arrested at gunpoint at a Greyhound bus station in Indio. His hair was shaved and he was carrying a black backpack. 

The investigator says he had no weapons or ammunition on him at the time, and that a family friend had helped him purchase a bus ticket under another name.

The defense is arguing that another man, John Olvera, is responsible for the murders. On Tuesday, an officer testified he saw a ‘tall, thin’ man in dark clothing running and limping near the crime scene. That person was never identified. 

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.

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

You can also follow her live updates from court on Twitter.

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Madison Weil

Madison Weil joined the KESQ News Channel 3 and CBS Local 2 News Team in June 2018. Learn more about Madison here.

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