The Trial of Larin-Garcia Ongoing with Dueling Lawyers, Testimony Monday from Defense Expert Witness

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By Catherine Hamilton and Veronica Miller

RIVERSIDE, CA – The trial of Jose Larin-Garcia proceeded Monday in Riverside County Superior Court with the testimony of the defense’s oft-delayed expert witness, and more bickering between the defense and prosecution.

Larin-Garcia is on trial for the murder of four people the night of Feb. 3, 2019.

The session began with the discussion of Randolph Beasley’s, a forensic consultant and crime scene reconstructionist, new experiments sent to both parties late last night. He had reconducted the experiment he had previously performed with one percent milk and beef blood to show the wide area of blood spatter.

Because Beasley just sent the experiments to the attorneys late last night, Deputy District Attorney Samantha Paixao asked for the new experiments not to be brought into evidence because they’re not probative to the jury and it was late notice.

She cited that Beasley has been working with the defense for a year and a half and yet was doing new experiments during his testimony.

Since they were done in the middle of his testimony—Beasley testified earlier in the trial—with late discovery and a soft deadline for the trial to be over by March 1, Judge Anthony Villabolos agreed with DDA Paixao and did not let the experiments come into evidence.

When Beasley returned to the stand in front of the jury, the defense, led by private attorney John Dolan, asked him about the directionality and concentration of the blood stains found in the green Toyota Corolla where three of the victims were found.

Next, the defense asked Beasley about a Nest audio tape, where the gunshots and car crash could be heard. However, DDA Paixao objected on the grounds of hearsay and speculation. Judge Villabolos sustained the objection.

After the lunch break, Beasley was asked to give his expert opinion on where Larin-Garcia was sitting at the time of the murder. Based on patterns found through back spatter analysis and where the gun had entered, Beasley had determined that Larin-Garcia would have been sitting in the center of the backseat.

There is fault with the information used to determine this, said the prosecution, noting the clothes that Larin-Garcia was wearing that night were not collected to be tested. This also means the back spatter pattern on the clothes could not be used to further support the opinion of where Larin-Garcia was sitting in the car.

DDA Paixao grilled Beasley on his experiment using milk and red dye to mimic the blood spatters that would have happened, attempting to cast him as an unreliable witness to the jury.

Paixao made reference to an earlier hearing in which Beasley had stated that there was no definitive evidence to show that there were five people in the car.

Beasley said he had gotten the idea from a video that he had found on the internet. He had also claimed to have used it before on a trip to South Korea.

Judge Anthony Villalobos at this time dismissed the jury from the courtroom to allow for both attorneys to be able to discuss the issues surrounding the milk and dye experiment.

Paixao had issues with the experiment because she was not given the right video and information surrounding the experiment and the justification for the video. Judge Villalobos joined in on the confusion surrounding the experiment.

Paixao was trying to bring to note the information the Beasley is basing his decisions on should be looked at as not factual due to the dishonesty of some of his evidence and information.

Defense Attorney Dolan countered that the prosecutor “attacked his credibility,” adding the defense did not show any videos or pictures from the experiment, and therefore, it should not be labeled as not factual.

He charged that what DDA Paixao is doing is “not due process, that is not fair…what she is doing to Mr. Beasley right now.”

Judge Villalobos in return stated, “You don’t find it alarming that someone is doing experiments with milk with dye in it?” siding again with Paixao in finding it alarming that they would use milk and dye for the experiment. The judge said criminologists and experts do not consider this a valid method.

However, Dolan stated that this is all he had been given and that he had COVID when this experiment was done.

Throughout the afternoon this trial saw opposing attorneys continually making comments toward the other in often argumentative ways.

The trial reconvenes Tuesday.

About The Author

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

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