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Death Penalty Trial Underway for Jose Larin Garcia in 2019 CA Quadruple Murder - Page 2
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Thread: Death Penalty Trial Underway for Jose Larin Garcia in 2019 CA Quadruple Murder

  1. #11
    Moderator Bobsicles's Avatar
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    Palm Springs quadruple homicide trial starts Monday; death penalty possible

    Christopher Damien
    Palm Springs Desert Sun

    The murder case against a man accused of killing four people in Palm Springs two years ago is scheduled to start Monday, and prosecutors are seeking a death sentence.

    Jose Vladimir Larin Garcia, 22, of Cathedral City, is charged with four counts of murder in the Feb. 3, 2019, slayings of one man found dead in the street behind an apartment complex and three other people found in a vehicle crashed into a brick wall blocks away.

    The victims were Carlos Campos Rivera, 25; Jacob Montgomery, 19; Juan Duarte Raya, 18; and Yuliana Garcia, 17.

    In pretrial hearings and filings, the prosecution has cast the killings as the deadly end to an attempted robbery gone wrong. But many questions remain about how that night became the city's most lethally violent in more than a decade.

    For example, testimony provided during Larin Garcia's preliminary hearing made mention of two people being seen alive and fleeing the scene of the crash on East Sunny Dunes Road.

    Larin Garcia was found nearby and transported to a hospital. But a second person — if actually present — has not been publicly identified by authorities, and his or her involvement in the killings, if any, is unknown.

    Another unanswered question concerns the murder weapon, said to be a Glock handgun. It has not been found, despite what police said was extensive searching in the area. However, prosecutors argued in a pretrial hearing that a Glock gun case found by police in Larin Garcia's bedroom contained a test round that appears to match casings found at the crime scenes.

    Prosecutors have also yet to provide a detailed account of why they think Larin Garcia, Montgomery, Raya and Garcia went to Campos Rivera's apartment complex, presumably armed, in the first place.

    Most of what is known about how four were found dead by police just before midnight on Feb. 3, 2019, has been revealed in pretrial filings and testimony provided in the criminal case against Larin Garcia.

    Palm Springs police responded to reports of a traffic collision on the 3700 block of East Sunny Dunes Road at 11:42 p.m., according to the prosecution's trial brief filed with the court. There they found a green Toyota Corolla crashed into a brick wall in front of a residence. The engine was still running and three people, appearing to be injured and unresponsive, were found inside. Police discovered the vehicle contained the bodies of Montgomery, Raya and Garcia. All had been fatally shot.

    The call came from a nearby resident who was awakened by the sound of the crash, according to the filing and testimony. The resident saw two males who appeared to be intoxicated a short distance down the road. But the two fled while the resident went to inspect the vehicle more closely, according to the prosecution's filing.

    About the same time, police also received calls about shots fired and a person found prone in the street at Cannon Drive suffering an apparent gunshot wound. Two people had found Campos Rivera's body when pulling up to the apartment complex after driving home from work.

    A Palm Springs police officer was canvassing nearby streets when he found Larin Garcia hiding under a truck. Larin Garcia was initially resistant to speak with the officer, according to the filing and testimony. He didn't have any shoes on, appeared to have blood on his clothing and his speech was slurred, according to the trial brief. The officer found shoes, a jacket, a cell phone and car keys under the truck.

    When questioned by police, Larin Garcia responded: "How can I be okay? I just witnessed a murder," according to the court filing. He stopped responding to questions soon after and was transported to a hospital.

    In a matter of hours, Larin Garcia checked himself out of the hospital and was on the run.

    Larin Garcia gets help with bus ticket

    Carlos Campos Rivera lived with his girlfriend at the apartment complex at 557 South El Cielo. The woman, who is not identified in court filings, told police she went to sleep the evening of Feb. 3 and woke around midnight to find Campos Rivera had not returned home.

    The next morning, she was told Campos Rivera had not gone to work. She found messages on a computer from Jacob Montgomery, exchanged around 11:35 p.m. the previous night, saying that he was outside of the apartment in Raya's car.

    One unidentified witness told police that he met with Montgomery around 11:20 p.m. that night, according to the prosecution's trial brief. In addition to Montgomery, the witness saw Raya, Garcia and a fourth man, referred to by them as "Vladis." Prosecutors believe that nickname to be a shortened version of Larin Garcia's middle name, Vladimir.

    Authorities have provided few details about what happened between when the witness met with Montgomery and saw the others, and the shooting that resulted in Campos Rivera's death.

    After Larin Garcia left the hospital, he is believed to have walked to the home of Joseph Beaver, who he had been staying with, according to testimony and filings. Beaver told police that Larin Garcia said he had been in a car accident and was in need of help. Beaver went to Larin Garcia's home and retrieved his wallet, some clothes, bandages and purchased him a Greyhound ticket under a false name.

    Beaver told The Desert Sun that he helps youth in the area who are struggling with hard times, and Larin Garcia was among them. He added that he didn't know Larin Garcia was a suspect in the homicide case when he helped him.

    Police found Larin Garcia at a bus station in Indio. He had shaved his head and had a bus ticket to Florida.

    A search of Larin Garcia's room in the apartment he shared with his family revealed an empty Glock firearm case, ammunition, a 33-round magazine, test casings from the manufacturer, and a shirt that appeared to have blood on it, according to the trial brief. Investigators testified that casings found in the Corolla, and in both Larin Garcia's car and bedroom, matched.

    Larin Garcia has been in Riverside County jail since Feb. 5, 2019, and has been held with no bail. The Riverside County District Attorney's Office announced in February 2020 that it would be seeking the death penalty.

    https://www.desertsun.com/story/news...th/6302087001/
    Thank you for the adventure - Axol

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    Hear me, my chiefs! I am tired. My heart is sick and sad. From where the sun now stands, I will fight no more forever. - Hin-mah-too-yah-lat-kekt

    Im going to the ghost McDonalds - Garcello

  2. #12
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    Palm Springs quadruple homicide trial opens with prosecutor calling four deaths 'executions'

    Christopher Damien
    Palm Springs Desert Sun

    The trial against the man charged with four Palm Springs homicides started Monday with the prosecution describing the deaths on a February night in 2019 as "executions."

    "They didn't stand a chance," Riverside County Deputy District Attorney Samantha Paixao told jurors as she described each victim was shot twice by the gunman. "All four were executed. Jose Vladimir Larin Garcia is the executioner."

    Garcia, 22, of Cathedral City, has pleaded not guilty to the killings of Carlos Campos Rivera, 25; Jacob Montgomery, 19; Juan Duarte Raya, 18; and Yuliana Garcia, 17.

    The four were fatally shot just before midnight on Feb. 3, 2019, minutes and mere blocks apart. Rivera was found dead on Canon Drive, prone in the street with a gunshot wound to the head and arm.

    The hearing on Monday marked the first day in a trial at Larson Justice Center in Indio that expected to extend well into the new year. Riverside County Superior Court Judge Anthony Villalobos is presiding over the case. If convicted, Larin Garcia could face the death penalty.

    Police began receiving reports of shots fired around 11:40 p.m. and a witness saw the green car drive through a stop sign without stopping only to hesitate momentarily, Paixao said.

    The witness has said that he heard people yelling in the vehicle, "go, go!" and soon after shots were heard before the car crashed into a brick wall, Paixao told jurors.

    Montgomery, Raya and Garcia were found dead in a green Toyota Corolla that had crashed into a brick wall in front of a residence on the 3700 block of East Sunny Dunes Road at 11:42 p.m., according to the prosecution's trial brief filed with the court. The three had been fatally shot.

    Paixao said in her opening statements that social media messages exchanged between Montgomery and Rivera show that the two were negotiating the sale of drugs minutes before the fatal shootings, the first indication of what the prosecution might argue is a possible motive for the killings. She said that Montgomery's last message indicated he was outside of Rivera's apartment in Raya's car.

    Police were dispatched to both scenes for separate reports of shots fired and a traffic collision but soon found that it was likely the two scenes were connected. Meanwhile, an officer canvassing the area found Larin Garcia hiding under a parked truck a couple of blocks from the car containing the three deceased.

    Larin Garcia was taken to a hospital as he had lacerations and other injuries. He later left the hospital without the knowledge of police and walked to the home of a friend where he had been staying.

    The friend, Joseph Beaver, purchased Larin Garcia a bus ticket under a fake name and coordinated with his relatives to get his wallet and other belongings. Larin Garcia was arrested at a Greyhound bus station in Indio on Feb. 5, 2019, and has been held on no bail since.

    Villalobos excused the jurors for the day after attorneys argued over evidence during a break Monday morning.

    The defense is expected to give opening statement on Tuesday.

    https://www.desertsun.com/story/news...ns/8789259002/
    Thank you for the adventure - Axol

    Tried so hard and got so far, but in the end it doesnt even matter - Linkin Park

    Hear me, my chiefs! I am tired. My heart is sick and sad. From where the sun now stands, I will fight no more forever. - Hin-mah-too-yah-lat-kekt

    Im going to the ghost McDonalds - Garcello

  3. #13
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    Defense says second suspect was at scenes in Palm Springs quadruple homicide

    Christopher Damien, Palm Springs Desert Sun

    Attorneys for the man charged with four 2019 Palm Springs homicides began to develop their defense on Tuesday, questioning the integrity of the prosecution's investigation and raising the possibility that an unidentified passenger was in the car at the time of the killings.

    The trial of Jose Vladimir Larin Garcia, 22, began Monday with Riverside County Deputy District Attorney Samantha Paixao describing him as "the executioner" in four fatal shootings. The prosecution is seeking the death penalty.

    John Dolan, Larin Garcia's attorney, introduced the idea during his opening statements Tuesday that a fifth passenger might have been in the green Toyota Corolla where three dead people were found, and presumably fled.

    "One person left the scene, that person is Mr. Olvera," Dolan said.

    It's not the first mention of John Olvera in the quadruple homicide case.

    Palm Springs Police Officer Francisco Salgado testified during a preliminary hearing in February 2019 that he interviewed Olvera in connection with the crime. Olvera had allegedly sent messages on social media that he was tied to the killings, but Salgado said Olvera later denied this.

    Larin Garcia has pleaded not guilty to the murder charges connected to the deaths of Carlos Campos Rivera, 25; Jacob Montgomery, 19; Juan Duarte Raya, 18; and Yuliana Garcia, 17.

    The four were fatally shot just before midnight on Feb. 3, 2019, minutes and mere blocks apart. Rivera was found dead on Canon Drive, prone in the street with a gunshot wound to the head and arm, according to testimony. The other three were found dead in a car that had crashed into a brick wall in front of a residence on the 3700 block of East Sunny Dunes Road.

    Dolan characterized the possibility of a fifth passenger in the vehicle as supported by witness testimony and as a failure in the prosecution's investigation.

    Dolan said witnesses told police that they saw a tall, slender man leaving the scene with a limp. Dolan has drawn attention to Larin Garcia's stature as neither tall nor slender.

    Dolan also said that the possibility of another suspect is underscored by the fact that the police never found the murder weapon.

    "About two years since there has never been a weapon found in the area where Mr. Larin Garcia was found under the truck," Dolan told jurors. "There're no eye witnesses. There's no gunshot residue."

    Police were dispatched to the two scenes around 11:40 after receiving calls of shots fired and a traffic collision. Larin Garcia was found hiding under a parked truck blocks away from the crashed Corolla. He had lacerations and other injuries and was taken to the hospital for treatment.

    Paixao told the jury during opening statements that Larin Garcia then left the hospital and went to a friend's home, who helped him gather his belongings and purchase a bus ticket under a false name. Larin Garcia was arrested at a bus station in Indio on Feb. 5.

    Dolan characterized the prosecution's case against Larin Garcia as "outrageous," and weakened by their failure to find the murder weapon and meaningfully investigate Olvera as a suspect.

    "It is unfair that this young man is being charged with these murders with this paucity of evidence," Dolan said.

    https://news.yahoo.com/defense-says-...193310279.html
    Thank you for the adventure - Axol

    Tried so hard and got so far, but in the end it doesnt even matter - Linkin Park

    Hear me, my chiefs! I am tired. My heart is sick and sad. From where the sun now stands, I will fight no more forever. - Hin-mah-too-yah-lat-kekt

    Im going to the ghost McDonalds - Garcello

  4. #14
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    'Defendant in Palm Springs homicide trial wanted to rob victim days before, friend testifies

    In an ongoing Palm Springs quadruple homicide case, a friend testified on Monday that defendant Jose Vladimir Larin-Garcia had told him only a few days before the killings to "set up," or rob, one of the victims.

    Jacob Montgomery, 19, Juan Duarte Raya, 18, and Yuliana Garcia, 17, were found shot dead in a car on East Sunny Dunes Road on Feb. 3, 2019. About a half-mile away, a fourth man, Carlos Campos Rivera, 25, was found fatally shot on Canon Drive.

    Larin-Garcia, 22, was found hiding under a parked truck a couple blocks away from the car and was arrested days later while attempting to board a bus to Florida. Larin-Garcia has been charged with four counts of murder. He has pleaded not guilty.

    Keven Martinez, 20, a friend of the three victims found in the car as well as Larin-Garcia, took the stand this week, attesting that one night in late January 2019 he and Larin-Garcia were smoking weed when Larin-Garcia told Martinez, "If I ain't get no p****, I'm gonna kill someone tonight."

    The two drove around the Desert Highland Gateway Estates neighborhood in North Palm Springs, during which time Larin-Garcia pulled a gun from the backseat of his car, Martinez said, and placed it on his lap. Martinez said he had seen the gun on previous occasions but had not seen Larin-Garcia put it in his lap before. The duo drove around the community for about 10 or 15 minutes but did not see anyone walking around.

    Later that night, still in the car, Larin-Garcia also told Martinez that he should "set up" 19-year-old Montgomery to rob him, the witness told the court. Martinez testified Monday that Larin-Garcia didn't specifically say he wanted to kill Montgomery.

    But Martinez said Larin-Garcia "was upset, and the way he was telling me to set him up, the way he wanted to do it, and how he grabbed his gun and was holding onto it while telling me" informed his opinion on whether Larin-Garcia really wanted to kill Montgomery.

    At another point in his testimony, Martinez added: "I didn't expect my friends to die."

    Last week, Forensic Pathologist Allison Hunt told the jury that another of the four victims, 17-year-old Garcia, was about five weeks pregnant at the time of her death. Hunt said that Garcia's gunshot wounds indicate that she was shot from behind while she was in the driver's seat of the car. Hunt described her death as immediate.

    At the start of the trial late last month, Riverside County Deputy District Attorney Samantha Paixao told jurors that Larin-Garcia "executed" the four victims.

    "They didn't stand a chance," Paixao told jurors as she described each victim was shot twice by the gunman. "All four were executed. Jose Vladimir Larin-Garcia is the executioner."

    John Dolan, Larin-Garcia's defense attorney, said last week that his client has been wrongfully accused of fatal shootings that he witnessed and could have also been a victim of.

    The trial at Larson Justice Center in Indio is expected to extend well into the new year. Riverside County Superior Court Judge Anthony Villalobos is presiding over the case. If convicted, Larin-Garcia could face the death penalty.

    https://www.desertsun.com/story/news...ys/6405310001/
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  5. #15
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    Palm Springs quadruple homicide: Over 3 years after killings, man goes on trial again

    By Christopher Damien, Palm Springs Desert Sun

    The man accused of killing four people in Palm Springs in 2019 is on trial again, with attorneys delivering opening statements to a jury Wednesday. The first jury deadlocked, leading to a mistrial in March.

    Jose Larin-Garcia of Cathedral City faces the possibility of the death penalty for the fatal shootings, killings that prosecutors have described as "executions." Defense attorneys have disputed that in both trials, saying another suspect is still at large.

    Larin-Garcia's first trial spanned approximately five months, centering on his apparent attempt to flee after the shootings. Prosecutors said he was the only suspect found near the scene of the crime.

    The defense argued there was a fifth passenger in the car soon before it crashed, one in addition to Larin-Garcia and the three found dead. John Patrick Dolan, Larin-Garcia's defense attorney, said a police officer saw someone who was never identified fleeing the scene. Soon after the shooting John Olvera, who was an acquaintance of several of the victims, made statements on social media appearing to take credit for the killings.

    Police reported and testified that Olvera's statements were not credible, and Olvera testified during the first trial, saying he lied and had only been "fronting for social media."

    On Wednesday, Dolan told jurors: “Mr. Olvera took credit for this. He’s the person you should be trying on this case.”

    Four dead

    Palm Springs police were dispatched early on the morning of Feb. 3, 2019, to the 3700 block of East Sunny Dunes Road where Jacob Montgomery, 19; Juan Duarte Raya, 18; and Yuliana Garcia, 17, were found shot dead in a car that had crashed into a brick wall in front of a home.

    Blocks away, Carlos Campos Rivera, 25, was found prone in the middle of Canon Drive dead.

    A short time later, Larin-Garcia was found by police hiding under a truck a couple blocks from the crashed vehicle. He had cuts on his arms, and had taken off his shoes and jacket. Some witnesses said they had seen another person fleeing the scene. But police did not locate any suspects other than Larin-Garcia that night.

    Larin-Garcia was taken to Desert Regional Medical Center to be treated for his injuries. Within hours, though, surveillance footage captured him leaving the facility wearing hospital attire. Police said they eventually found that he had walked to the home of a friend, Joseph Beaver, who gathered some of Larin-Garcia's belongings and bought him a bus ticket to Florida under a fake name.

    A Riverside County District Attorney's Office investigator, Charles Cervello, testified that police tracked Larin-Garcia to a bus station in Indio, where they arrested him soon before his bus was scheduled to depart.

    The first trial

    Riverside County Deputy District Attorney Samantha Paixao opened the first trial last November characterizing Larin-Garcia as an executioner who shot Campos Rivera during a drug deal gone bad, then the other three as they sped away through a residential neighborhood.

    "They didn't stand a chance," Paixao then told jurors. "All four were executed. Jose Vladimir Larin-Garcia is the executioner."

    Dolan, the defense attorney, questioned the integrity of the investigation, saying his client wasn't the only person who left the crash alive, but the only who was found.

    "One person left the scene. That person is Mr. Olvera," Dolan told jurors last year.

    From there, jurors heard months of testimony on autopsies, an undercover jailhouse interview with the defendant, police questioning of his relatives and testimony from the friend who bought him the bus ticket. Jurors and attorneys all visited the scene of the crash and inspected the remnants of the car.

    But after the prosecution rested its case in late February, deliberations wore on for nearly two weeks when jurors announced they were "hopelessly deadlocked."

    Soon before the announcement, jurors requested to review the transcripts of police interviewing Olvera and an undercover interview of Larin-Garcia in a jail cell soon after his arrest.

    The judge declared a mistrial March 8, and the district attorney's office announced in response it would attempt to retry the case.

    https://eu.desertsun.com/story/news/...n/10450768002/

  6. #16
    Administrator Helen's Avatar
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    Oct. 19, 2022

    Larin-Garcia Murder Re-trial Proceeds with Testimony of Man Defense Says is Real Murderer

    By Leslie Acevedo, Brinda Kalita, Kevin Barragan and Michael McCutcheon
    The Davis Vanguard

    RIVERSIDE, CA- The re-trial of Jose Larin-Garcia, charged with multiple murders, reconvened Monday in Larson Justice Center here in Riverside County Superior Court.

    The accused did not appear in court, John Dolan appeared for the defense, the judge was Anthony Villalobos and the prosecutor was Deputy District Attorney Samantha Paixao.

    The witness, a friend of the two victims, said, I believe it was John OlveraOlvera is the real killer, Defense Counsel Attorney John Dolan has argued, and that claim helped lead to a jury mistrial in the first go-around in the case.

    The witness acknowledged she had information in the case and went to the police department with her mom and presented material to the Palm Springs Police Department, but that the police did nothing about it and they had not been contacted by the Palm Springs Police Department since 2019.

    The next witness called to the stand was Olvera himself, the man the defense thinks is responsible for the quadruple homicides in 2019.

    In his testimony, Olvera admits that he told people on his Instagram page that he was in custody for street credit, or rather, his image.

    Me going in custody Its all a part of the image, he said.

    Olvera also shared that he had once gotten into a physical fight with the victims. This fight originally started as an online internet beef. He also admitted during this fight he pointed a BB gun at one of the victims.

    However, Olvera mentioned that the victim, or rather a homie, had a knife on him and the two started fighting.

    DDA Paixao then asked if Olvera had heard of Larin-Garcia. Olvera admitted that he met Larin-Garcia, whom he called Vladis, when he was 15 at community school.

    Olvera mentioned that Larin-Garcia was older than him and they never really interacted, but that he had beat up one of his homies (friends) which made Olvera upset. This had happened a year before the murders.

    He also said Larin-Garcia had Xanax on him and his friends had fought with him in order to get ahold of the Xanax. Olvera claimed he did not participate in the fights, but he had watched them fight from the sidelines. This happened a couple of months after the fight but before the homicide.

    Olvera also said he had contacted one of Larin-Garcias girlfriends via Facebook and tried to flirt with her in order to push his buttons.

    After Larin-Garcia discovered Olvera flirting with his girlfriend, Olvera said Larin-Garcia decided to fight Olvera at the marketplace with a pistol. Olvera then admitted that he lost his cell phone during the fight.

    Counsel Dolan presented to the court an audio recording of Olvera that allegedly caught him making incriminating statements while being under the influence.

    When questioned by the defense on whether it was he in the audio recording, Olvera said, Yes I was smoked the f*** out. Olvera continued to talk about being high on methamphetamines and the judge scolded him to quiet down and let the defense finish his questioning.

    But Olvera kept interrupting while the court was listening to a recording as he was acknowledging he was on methamphetamines.

    The defense continued to question the witness on why he said feen for bloodnobody wanna play now and the terminology Ni**as. Olvera was questioned why he said the racial term in his wording, insinuating he was racist.

    Olvera answered, Im not racist, Im from the hood which is slang for neighborhood and his phrasing was from Youngboi which influenced him to say you got shot in yo face

    The court moved onto a new transcript which was attached to another exhibit to present to the court. However, the judge found the transcripts attached to the corresponding exhibits to be inaccurate and demanded defense counsel present the accurate transcripts with the exhibit audios for the court to review.

    Defense counsel provided transcripts but the judge said, These are not the right ones

    Defense wanted to provide them in chronological order, but the trier of fact explained the exhibit was attached to the wrong transcription, saying he didnt put the transcripts in erroneous order. Judge Villalobos demanded he play the audio recording they had reviewed from earlier, notwithstanding that the defense council had played D29 already with the accurate transcript.

    When the defense counsel played the audio recording and continued with his direct examination of Olvera, the judge shouted, All right counsel no stop HOLD ONHOLD ON!!!! He advised the defense team to bring back the accurate transcripts to present to court and they adjourned to return in 30 minutes.

    When the court reconvened, Defense Attorney Dolan continued his line of questioning regarding Olveras social media use and communications.

    Olvera stated he did not recall ever communicating with either Jake Montgomery or Juan Raya. However, he noted that he would have been too high on methamphetamine or marijuana to remember saying anything.

    Defense Attorney Dolan then asks Olvera about a police interview in Nov. 2021 about the murders.

    In the interview, Olvera recalled having a fight with Montgomery. Defense Attorney Dolan quoted Olvera from the interviews transcript, I whipped out a knife right there, but then he, he didnt wanna, inaudible, he didnt wanna do it so. Olvera refuted the transcripts quotation about the knife, stating that one of his friends had it, not him.

    Defense Attorney Dolan proceeded with further questions, asking Olvera if he recalled the investigator inquiring about the severity of his beef with Montgomery and if Olvera ever wanted to kill him.

    Olvera responded, I probably said no, cause I dont wish death upon nobody.

    Defense Attorney Dolan then read the transcript from the interview in answer to his own question, I mean, hell yeah. The f**k? I mean, once they wanna take it there, they wanna take it there. And before we got at the street fair, before that, I wouldve, I wouldve caught [Montgomery] in the streets but it wasnt my territory.

    Olvera contested part of this transcript, insisting that he said if they wanna take it there, not, once they wanna take it there.

    Olvera continued to be questioned about whether he stated if any of the victims were his enemies to police during the interview. Defense Attorney Dolan answered this question with the transcript, reading, Well, yeah, three of them, like Jacob and [inaudible] they were both my enemies.

    To end his direct examination, Defense Attorney Dolan noted Olveras criminal history, particularly his drug possession charges and a charge for an illegal BB pellet gun replica of a handgun.

    Olvera, throughout this portion of the examination, stated that he did not understand the purpose of noting his criminal history in such detail.

    The trial is ongoing this week.

    https://www.davisvanguard.org/2022/1...real-murderer/
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    There are lots of extremely smug and self-satisfied people in what would be deemed lower down in society, who also deserve to be pulled up. In a proper free society, you should be allowed to make jokes about absolutely anything.
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  7. #17
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    Defense in Palm Springs quadruple homicide wants another mistrial after new evidence

    By Christopher Damien, Palm Springs Desert Sun

    A bullet casing in a Ziploc bag, a cigarette butt and a trash bag of broken glass. These are the new pieces of evidence — announced nearly four years after a quadruple homicide in Palm Springs — that have delayed the second trial in the case, an attorney said Wednesday.

    Jurors in the trial against Jose Larin-Garcia were excused last week until early December after the prosecution submitted the new evidence following more than a month of testimony. His first trial began last year and ended with a hung jury in March.

    During Wednesday's hearing in Riverside County Superior Court, many questions were raised by Judge Anthony Villalobos and Larin-Garcia's defense attorney, John Dolan: Where did the evidence come from? Why was it introduced now? And, ultimately, what impact will it have on a case that remains in limbo after four were fatally shot early on a February morning in 2019.

    But there were few answers.

    Larin-Garcia was charged with four counts of murder soon after he was arrested in 2019, attempting to board a bus to Florida in Indio.

    Palm Springs police were dispatched to the 3700 block of East Sunny Dunes Road early on the morning of Feb. 3, 2019, where Jacob Montgomery, 19; Juan Duarte Raya, 18; and Yuliana Garcia, 17, were found shot dead in a car. Mere blocks to the west, Carlos Campos Rivera, 25, was found prone in the middle of Canon Drive dead.

    Larin-Garcia was found hiding under a truck nearby and was taken to the hospital to treat some injuries. Hours later, he left the hospital and went to the home of a friend in Palm Springs, who bought him the bus ticket under a fake name.

    The prosecution characterized the shootings as "executions" during the first trial against Larin-Garcia, and has largely taken the same approach since the latest trial began in September. The defense has claimed that another suspect was in the car at the time of the fatal shootings and remains at large.

    WhileDeputy District Attorney Samantha Paixao said some of the evidence is currently being swabbed for DNA at a crime lab in San Bernardino County and the results could be back at the end of the week, the defense was definitive about its response regardless of the lab's findings.

    "So the court is clear: Exclude the evidence, mistrial and then a possible dismissal. That's what's on our radar," Dolan told Villalobos.

    Scant details were shared during the hearing about the evidence, but there was virtually no indication of what significance it might have. Dolan's associate said he accompanied Paixao to the Palm Springs Police Department to "view the debris." There was mention of the casing found in a plastic bag in the trunk of Larin-Garcia's car soon after the shootings, which has been discussed in testimony in both trials. There was mention of glass shards being collected by a tow truck driver and their "chain of custody." Dolan's associate asked of the cigarette butt: "Where did it come from?"

    A Palm Springs police spokesperson, Lt. Gus Araiza, previously told The Desert Sun that the new evidence was submitted by his department, but would not provide more details.

    What is clear is that the second trial of a man who could face the death penalty if convicted has come to a grinding halt some four years after the shootings ended four lives.

    Villalobos concluded the hearing asking the defense to file a written motion by Nov. 28 saying what it wants the court to do. The prosecution will have a couple days to respond. The motions will be discussed on Dec. 5, the day before jurors are due back. But it was not clear whether the trial will continue as planned after this unexpected hiatus.

    "There are a lot of options," Villalobos said.

    https://eu.desertsun.com/story/news/...n/69654589007/

  8. #18
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    Defense seeks another mistrial over surprise evidence in Palm Springs quadruple homicide

    By Christopher Damien
    The Desert Sun


    Attorneys representing a man charged with the murders of four in Palm Springs in 2019 told a judge Monday he should declare a second mistrial after evidence believed to be missing for nearly four years was found last month.

    The first trial against Jose Larin-Garcia, 23, resulted in a mistrial earlier this year after testimony spanned several months between 2021 and 2022 and jurors could not agree on a verdict. He could face the death penalty if convicted as charged of the four slayings.

    After months of testimony in the second trial, the prosecution told Superior Court Judge Anthony Villalobos that a bag containing an eighth casing, a cigarette butt and broken glass had been found in the trunk of the car in which the three were killed. The evidence had been gathered by a tow truck driver and was thought to have been lost.

    "It dramatically changes the state of the evidence from when the trial began," said John Dolan, Larin-Garcia's defense attorney. "We didnt create this problem. Its just negligence, and its serious negligence.

    Villalobos said he'll likely rule Tuesday, when argument is set to resume.

    Palm Springs police were dispatched early on the morning of Feb. 3, 2019, to the 3700 block of East Sunny Dunes Road, where three people were found fatally shot in a crashed car: Jacob Montgomery, 19; Juan Duarte Raya, 18; and Yuliana Garcia, 17. Carlos Campos Rivera, 25, was found dead several blocks away in the middle of Canon Drive.

    Larin-Garcia was found hiding under a truck nearby and was taken to the hospital, where he was treated for minor injuries. He later left the hospital and attempted to take a bus to Florida, after a friend purchased him a ticket under a fake name. He was arrested at the Greyhound Bus Station in Indio.

    Deputy District Attorney Samantha Paixao has argued through both trials that Larin-Garcia shot all four during a botched drug deal. She characterized the killings as "executions," and Larin-Garcia as the "executioner."

    Dolan has argued another suspect could still be at large after someone was seen by police limping away in the area of the crash. He has also alleged a bullet casing matching the casings found in Larin-Garcia's trunk was planted there, which the prosecution has repeatedly disputed.

    After the revelation of the new evidence, the judge excused the jury for several weeks. They are due in court Tuesday.

    The defense team filed motions for a mistrial and dismissal last week, arguing substantial testimony had been provided based on seven, not eight, bullet casings having been recovered by investigators. But in court Monday, Villalobos questioned Dolan and his co-counsel Anthony Valente on the significance of the casing, namely how it could support their case that Larin-Garcia was not the shooter.

    "There was sloppy evidence gathering," Valente said during the hearing Monday.

    "Sloppy evidence gathering doesnt make it exculpatory," Villalobos responded.

    Paixao echoed this during the hearing, arguing that the evidence being rediscovered later doesn't make it "exculpatory at all.

    "The people would have loved to have this evidence from the very get go," Paixao said.

    The defense outlined in its request for a mistrial that Julie Osburn, a crime scene technician for the police department, found the bag of debris in the trunk of the car when she was preparing the vehicle to be transported for the jury to inspect it last month.

    "It was supposedly in the possession of law enforcement for about four years," Dolan said.

    The bag was later booked into evidence, and its contents analyzed. Villalobos said during Monday's hearing that the bullet casing was tested and appeared to be fired from the same gun as the other casings found at the crime scene. The defense further argued that the glass in the bag could have blood stains indicating the location from which the fatal shots were fired. The casing, Dolan argued, needs to be further analyzed.

    "The casing is critical, and it wasn't found until the middle of the second trial," Dolan said Monday. "Its unfair to Mr. Larin-Garcia."

    The defense team argued that a mistrial should be declared so that a new trial can start "at square one."

    https://www.desertsun.com/story/news...e/69702497007/
    "I realize this may sound harsh, but as a father and former lawman, I really don't care if it's by lethal injection, by the electric chair, firing squad, hanging, the guillotine or being fed to the lions."
    - Oklahoma Rep. Mike Christian

    "There are some people who just do not deserve to live,"
    - Rev. Richard Hawke

    There are lots of extremely smug and self-satisfied people in what would be deemed lower down in society, who also deserve to be pulled up. In a proper free society, you should be allowed to make jokes about absolutely anything.
    - Rowan Atkinson

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