Larin-Garcia Quadruple Homicide Trial Ongoing, with Testimony of Man Defense Claims is Real Murderer

Share:

By Catherine Hamilton

RIVERSIDE, CA – The quadruple homicide trial against Jose Larin-Garcia resumed Monday morning here in Riverside County Superior Court with testimony from John Olvera, the man the defense claims is the real murderer.

Larin-Garcia is on trial for murdering three teenagers and one adult the night of Feb. 3, 2019. The prosecution is seeking the death penalty over life in prison without parole.

Deputy District Attorney Samantha Paixao called Olvera, 18, to the stand, specifically for his Facebook posts and Instagram messages posted and sent around the time of the murders.

DDA Paixao began with asking Olvera about his life in 2019, such as where he lived and what he did on a day-to-day basis. He said that he stayed at his grandparents’ house with his sister, and spent his time sleeping and doing drugs. He dropped out of school around this time.

In 2019, Olvera testified that he did meth and smoked weed at least once a day. He said he started doing meth when he was 13 years old, and has been sober for two months; he started smoking weed when he was 10 years old, and has been sober for a month.

While he testified that if the opportunity arose today he would still take it, Olvera wanted to be a rapper in 2019. The rapper he idolized the most back then, and still today, he said, is YoungBoy, and he would constantly post YoungBoy song lyrics, with some of his own twists, on his Facebook page.

DDA Paixao asked Olvera if he knew the meaning of, and had used, certain rap industry terminology, such as slatt/slime (brother) and iron (metal gun). He said he had, but only because they were in YoungBoy’s lyrics.

Olvera currently does not live in California anymore because he wanted to be a better person, and didn’t think he could achieve that living where he had been.

Next, DDA Paixao questioned Olvera about Kevin Martinez, a friend of Larin-Garcia’s and someone who testified earlier in this trial. Olvera said he knew Martinez from middle school, but they weren’t friends.

When asked if he knew three of the victims, Olvera said he had only heard of them because of this trial, but did testify that he vaguely knew the fourth victim, Jacob Montgomery.

Supposedly, Olvera had “street beef” with one of Montgomery’s friends, and so at a street fair one night in Palm Springs, the two physically fought before Olvera took the bus home.

Olvera was with a friend, who had a knife, but in a conversation with an investigator in Nov. 2021, Olvera had said he had the knife. However, he maintained on the stand that he only fought with fists, and that his “homie” was the one with the knife.

The “street beef” with Montgomery’s friend involved a girl, said Olvera, who added he didn’t have any direct issues with Montgomery. He said Montgomery wasn’t his “cup of tea,” but that he could stand to be in close proximity to him.

DDA Paixao then asked Olvera if he knew Larin-Garcia, which he said he did since they went to the same school, but they weren’t friends because Larin-Garcia was older and wasn’t at school very often.

The two had a “street beef” with each other, too, he confided, because Larin-Garcia was telling people that Olvera had stolen some of his Xanax.

Olvera told the investigator in Nov. that he slept with Larin-Garcia’s “baby momma,” but Olvera stopped hanging out with her once he found out she was romantically involved with Larin-Garcia.

Olvera testified that he got into a fight with a “lookalike” Larin-Garcia in Nov. 2018, though he had previously told the investigator that they fought two weeks, not two months, before the murders.

This “lookalike” Larin-Garcia, as Olvera noted, apparently looked exactly like Larin-Garcia but never confirmed his identity. He pulled out a pistol, so Olvera ran away because he didn’t want to be shot.

As he was running away, Olvera said that he lost one of his phones, his backup one that was logged into all of his social media accounts. He testified he stopped having access to his Instagram and Facebook sometime in Jan. or Feb. 2019.

When asked about some of his Facebook posts where he talked about shooting people in the face, and killing people at Zelda’s, a nightclub where a man was killed mere weeks before the quadruple homicide, Olvera said they were only YoungBoy lyrics.

“I’m a wannabe rapper,” he repeatedly said. “I was fronting for the ‘gram, fronting for the media.”

The last questions DDA Paixao had directly asked Olvera dealt with if he had killed the four victims the night of Feb. 3, 2019.

DDA Paixao: “Did you kill Yuliana Garcia?”
Olvera: “No.”
DDA Paixao: “Did you kill Juan Duarte Raya?”
Olvera: “No.”
DDA Paixao: “Did you kill Carlos Campos?”
Olvera: “No.”
DDA Paixao: “Did you kill Jacob Montgomery?”
Olvera: “Nope.”

The defense, led by private defense attorney John Dolan, began with asking about messages and posts Olvera had put up on social media. Olvera continuously repeated that many of the messages before and after the murders he did not send or post because he didn’t have access to his account after losing his phone.

In his conversation with the investigator, Olvera said that he had wanted to kill Montgomery and Larin-Garcia. When the defense asked about this statement, Olvera said “I don’t tell” twice before Judge Anthony Villabolos said “it’s a yes or no question.” Olvera finally answered with, “No, I didn’t.”

Throughout his testimony, Olvera shifted his microphone around, mumbled, and answered questions before the attorneys had finished asking them. Around this time in the trial, Judge Villabolos began to get frustrated over having to repeat himself and said brusquely, “Stop mumbling. Listen.”

The defense asked Olvera about multiple things he had said during his conversation with the investigator, but for nearly all of them, Olvera said he had never said them.

However, he refused to look at a transcript of the recorded conversation because he said he knew he didn’t say them.

Next, the defense questioned the status update Olvera posted to his Facebook page Feb. 3, only four hours before the murder. The status update was “slatt 4KT,” which was apparently inspired by a YoungBoy song Olvera had been listening to at that time. (Note: 4KT, in rap terminology, typically means “forever killing them.”)

When the defense asked Olvera if he had posted this update because he had been planning to murder the victims in mere hours, Olvera said, “do your research that’s YoungBoy… I don’t wish death upon anybody.”

Moving on to Instagram messages, the defense asked about a post someone Olvera’s account followed that had said “RIP Jacob.” Olvera’s account commented with a smiley face, to which the poster told him that wasn’t funny. Olvera’s account had messaged back, “one more p***y b***h left, I won’t stop until he’s gone.”

The defense asked if he had meant he wouldn’t stop until Larin-Garcia was dead, but Olvera still maintained that it was not he who had sent those messages. According to Olvera, he had never even heard of the person who had posted the picture.

Then, the defense asked if Olvera had said “I told him not to play,” something his account had said in an Instagram message. Olvera laughed because he said it was a stupid comment.

He repeatedly testified he didn’t send any of the messages, and that he thought the defense “just [had] something against [him].” The court then took a break for lunch.

After the lunch break, the defense continued questioning Olvera. They played a voice recording from Facebook that said “b***h, they sent my homie to heaven,” though Olvera said that it was not his voice.

Judge Villabolos then reminded Olvera of the gravity of his testimony, with “Mr. Olvera, you do recall you’re under oath.”

The following was a video that showed Olvera rapping, which Olvera did agree it was him.

Another recording was of him rapping, “I dropped four in the field, trying to catch another,” though he asserted these were YoungBoy lyrics and therefore meant nothing to him.

At this time, because Olvera continued to move around the microphone and trail off in his testimony, Judge Villabolos yelled for him to be quiet and stop moving. Olvera asked for a break that wasn’t granted.

The next pieces of evidence the defense presented were two messages Olvera’s Instagram account had sent on Feb. 8, 2019, to the account that posted “RIP Jacob.” In the messages, Olvera’s account said “I never meant that girl to die… Jacob thought I was playin’ he shouldn’t have had a kid female in the car cuz he knew I was gonna get him…”

Olvera again said he never sent those messages, didn’t know who the owner of the other account was, and wished that the defense would “come at [him] with some solid evidence, if [they didn’t] have solid evidence, then why [is he there].”

The defense then asked “would you consider a confession to murder hard evidence?” to which Olvera responded, “Nope.” However, DDA Paixao objected on the grounds of the question was argumentative, and Judge Villabolos sustained the objection, striking the question and response.

For the final set of questions, the defense asked if Olvera had been in the green Honda, the car that three of the victims were found in, and Olvera said he had not. He also again denied shooting Montgomery, Duarte Raya, and Garcia.

After the defense was done with their questioning, DDA Paixao introduced lyrics to three YoungBoy songs that Olvera had claimed contained the lyrics he had posted on Facebook. She had him underline the specific lyrics to present to the jury. Judge Villabolos allowed her to do this, because it asserted whether or not Olvera was credible.

In her final questions, DDA Paixao asked him about the audio recordings from the defense Olvera had said wasn’t him. However, this time, he took credit for them, though he maintained they were only lyrics.

When the defense said he had lied on the stand about those audios, then did he lie about knowing the owner of the Instagram account he had supposedly confessed to, Olvera still said no.

“You can’t break me,” Olvera said in response to more questions about his truthfulness. This statement was stricken.

After the jury and Olvera were dismissed for the day, DDA Paixao said that she had noticed Olvera was more forthcoming when she was asking questions than when the defense was, something clear in Olvera’s tone.

She believed he was more argumentative with the defense because they had “blasted him,” blaming him in their opening statement for being the murderer.

The case will reconvene Tuesday with testimony from another one of the prosecution’s witnesses.

Share:

About The Author

Catherine is a freshman at UCLA, double majoring in English and Political Science. She is from Atlanta, Georgia.

Related posts

Leave a Reply

X Close

Newsletter Sign-Up

X Close

Monthly Subscriber Sign-Up

Enter the maximum amount you want to pay each month
$ USD
Sign up for