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Defense delivers closing argument in Palm Springs murder retrial

The jury is now gearing up to deliberate whether a Cathedral City man is guilty of a quadruple murder in Palm Springs in 2019.

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

In his closing argument Thursday, defense attorney John Patrick Dolan told the jury the evidence is clear: someone besides Larin Garcia was responsible.

"That is what this case is all about – the identity of the perpetrator,” Dolan said.

He urged the jury to follow the evidence and to find that the prosecution did not meet its burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt on the four counts of murder – one for each victim.

MORE: Palm Springs quadruple murder victims in focus in prosecutor’s closing arguments

The defense has said all along Larin Garcia was not alone in the murder vehicle with the victims – pegging that theory on a police officer's radio call that he saw a shadowy person near the crime scene the night of the murders. Recordings of that call were not preserved by Palm Springs Police Department.

"There was a recording a radio call about a tall, slender, injured male running are limping eastbound on Sunny Dunes," Dolan said.

He tied that report to social media posts and messages from John Olvera, a 15-year-old at the time who appeared to take credit for the murders online – but police ultimately ruled out as a suspect.

Olvera told the jury during his testimony he was posing for street cred and is a wannabe gangster who was, at times, simply posting rap lyrics.

"That is the worst most lame excuse. That's a guy who's been brought in here to tell us the truth, supposedly," Dolan told the jury.

In an undercover jail cell operation after the murders, Larin Garcia told agents several times he was innocent, Dolan reminded the jury.

He keyed in on the fact that no murder weapon was ever found at the crime scene.

"He was under that truck. They use drones. They use metal detectors that canvass the area. The district attorney has asserted Oh yeah, the guy. Well, where?" Dolan asked.

And on the competing experts in this case, Dolan said the defense's proved it was not only possible, but also probable that someone else in the back seat committed the shootings.

The prosecution's expert called those experiments faulty.

In a rebuttal, the prosecutor responded that there is no evidence John Olvera was involved with the case.

She admitted mistakes were made by police by said ultimately those errors do not create reasonable doubt for the jury.

Jury deliberations begin Monday morning.

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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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