Defense Motion in Larin-Garcia Quadruple Murder Case to Toss 1st Degree Charges Leads Nowhere

By Darling Gonzalez

INDIO, CA – The quadruple murder trial for Jose Larin-Garcia proceeded Thursday morning with a defense motion and more intense disagreement between the prosecution and defense here in Riverside County Superior Court.

Defense attorney John Dolan began the motion hearing—out of earshot of the jury—by requesting that each charge of first-degree murder be stricken due to the lack of evidence that explained premeditation deliberation by Larin-Garcia.

Dolan included the People vs. Anderson case and mentioned that premeditation deliberation could only be considered if the prosecution made inferences from proven facts in the case.

He added, “There is no inference or premeditation or deliberation that is reasonable from the facts in the case.”

Deputy District Attorney Samantha Paixao argued there were circumstantial inferences and evidence showing that the murder was premeditated and deliberate because of how Larin-Garcia murdered the victims.

“One of the main factors that show that this was premeditated and deliberate and that this was not a rash or impulsive decision by the defendant was the style of the execution. These were headshots. Each one was targeted, from Carlos Campos Rivera, Jacob Montgomery, Yuliana Garcia, to Juan Duarte Raya, each one was a clear gunshot to the head,” said Paixao.

Paixao then also included a list of actions by Larin-Garcia including a call to his mother where he stated, “They’re going to arrest me,” after he fled from the hospital after the murder.

Although the prosecution had not found the murder weapon, Paixao said during the police interrogation operation, when Larin-Garcia was asked about the murder weapon, he believed it had been found by the prosecution and sounded defeated.

After both arguments from the prosecution and defense, Judge Anthony Villalobos denied the defense motion to strike the first-degree murder charge.

“It appears here that there’s evidence that can go before the jury enough for the jury to then make that determination. Again, there’s good arguments either way but I think there’s enough for it to go in front of the jury and for the jury to make that determination,” said Judge Villalobos.

The trial will reconvene next Tuesday Feb. 22.

About The Author

Darling is an incoming junior at UCLA, majoring in English and Political Science with an interest in law. She is originally from Bell Gardens, California.

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