Attorneys Struggle to Solidify Evidence Regarding a Quadruple Murder: Defendant Granted Shower Time

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By Julia Urquizo

RIVERSIDE, CA – In yet another pretrial motion this week, Defense Attorney John Dolan asked Judge Anthony Villalobos to send a court order for Jose Larin-Garcia—facing triple homicide charges—so he can get explicit time to take a shower after being denied one after a phone call.

Larin-Garcia was 19 years old when he was arrested for the murder of three teenagers (between ages 17-19 years old) and one adult that occurred on Feb. 3, 2019 in Palm Springs.

Now, Larin-Garcia faces the death penalty for the crimes he is accused of, and is on trial starting soon.

Attorney Dolan spoke on behalf of his client, “Mr. Larin-Garcia is not getting a shower when he goes back from his phone calls because when he does the one hour phone call he’s told that’s his time. I’m asking for explicit time to shower after court.”

Judge Villalobos stated, “While he’s in trial he will be granted access to showers. I’ll order that he be allowed to take his shower at 8 p.m. at night and have a meal.”

The case still has questions. Desert Sun reporter Colin Atagi, et al., discuss the many cryptic clues that permeate the case around what led up to the shooting of the four victims who were all connected to each other through school or work. (https://www.desertsun.com/story/news/crime_courts/2019/02/27/robbery-plot-barbecue-gunfire-disclosed-palm-springs-quadruple-killings/2995869002/ )

After Palm Springs police found a seemingly inebriated Larin-Garcia hiding under a truck near the crime scene, they discovered that Larin-Garcia was in the green Toyota Corolla when the three teenagers were shot.

The following information was found in an article published by the Desert Sun titled, “Clues in Palm Springs quadruple killing: An aborted robbery plot, an uncollected debt, and a barbecue.”

A witness who owed one of the victims money that night, testified to seeing Larin-Garcia accompanying the three teenagers during the pick-up.

The two teenage male victims had anticipated robbing an apartment earlier that day but later retracted their plan due to a “bad feeling.” One detective testified to a friend of Larin-Garcia’s disclosing during an interview that Larin-Garcia also had plans to commit robberies and had a dispute with one of the victim’s friends years prior.

Another puzzling clue was discovered days after the crime, when detectives separately interviewed a 16-year-old male and a teenage girl about Instagram messages and Facebook posts relating to the murders.

Detectives testified to interviewing the recipient of the Instagram messages from a 16-year-old male allegedly claiming that he would not stop until the two male victims were dead and that he did not intend for the female victim to die. However, by the time detectives searched the 16-year-old’s phone the messages were nowhere to be found.

All this speculation and scattered timeline of events led to a confusing exchange between Deputy District Attorney Samantha Paixao and defense attorney Dolan in court this week.

Judge Anthony Villalobos stated, “I will consider anything that may exonerate the defendant. I will look through what’s been provided to the People by Facebook. We need to ensure the defendant has a fair trial.”

DDA Paixao filed another motion concerning specific Facebook records and the third party connection to the offense due to the juvenile’s privacy issues.

It is unclear whether Judge Villalobos will consider the Facebook posts as evidence.

Next, defense attorney Dolan noted how there was not a stimulus report concerning the defendant’s reaction to being charged with murder during a recorded interview.

DDA Paixao responded, “You have the full recording (from Feb. 20, 2019) there is no stimulus report because investigators did not have to create one…they gave the entirety of the recording.”

When Judge Villalobos questioned why the defense needed a reporting of the defendant’s reaction, defense attorney Dolan answered, “I’m not saying it has to be reported, just that they (the investigators) never showed how they were using the search warrant. It wasn’t clear what they were intending to do.”

A debate ensued about the defendant’s reaction to investigators charging him with murder and whether the recording of it made it clear that the investigators were proceeding properly.

Judge Villalobos stated to defense attorney Dolan, “I’m not holding anything against the defense. You’re doing what you have to do for your client. I’m not saying you can’t bring up these issues. I know there’s concern with the search warrant and Miranda. I’m not in any way holding that against you. Things happen during trial, it’s a fluid thing. This is a severe case, things come up and we will deal with them as they come up.”

DDA Paixao then asked for immediate disclosure of evidence regarding a behavioral health record sent by the defense to a doctor initially unbeknownst to her.

Defense attorney Dolan stated that “we gave him (the doctor) everything we had and he made a passing comment about the hospital alcohol and biotoxin report that was drawn two and a half years later and he pointed out that flaw.”

DDA Paixao responded that “the defense provided the record, their experts relied upon those records, so the (prosecution is) entitled to those records. I want those behavioral records including a report from Feb. 5 and 8 of 2019.”

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About The Author

Julia was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. She studies Sociology and Entrepreneurship at UCLA.

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