By Naya Wiezel
RIVERSIDE, CA – A jury trial reconvened here in Riverside County Superior Court last week for a man accused of murdering four individuals in 2019 in Palm Springs, CA. The trial began on June 17 of this year, after a previous trial ended in a jury deadlock.
Jose Vladimir Larin-Garcia is accused of murdering four individuals on the night of Feb. 3, 2019. Three of the four victims were teenagers and were found in a crashed vehicle. The fourth victim was an adult, found lying in the street several blocks away from the car. All four victims had gunshot wounds to their heads.
The original trial lasted parts of five months, following a six-day jury deliberation that resulted in a mistrial. Deputy District Attorney Samantha Paixao, who is leading the prosecution, has been calling for the death penalty and pushed for a retrial.
One of the biggest issues of the original trial was the presence of evidence by the defense pointing to a man named John Olvera as the real murderer. Olvera seemingly confessed to the crimes via social media. However, Olvera has since testified and denied any involvement in the crime.
Larin-Garcia’s defense, led by private attorney John Dolan, has maintained Larin-Garcia’s innocence and questioned a local police officer who arrived at the scene the night of the murders.
The police officer was questioned by the defense about the clothing he was wearing the night of the alleged crime. Additionally, the officer was questioned about an alleged voice message from Larin-Garcia to his mother stating that he may be arrested and he needed to speak to a lawyer.
Additionally, the police officer was questioned about a description the officer made about the suspect he witnessed on the night of the murders. Throughout his testimony, the officer maintained his uncertainty about what he remembers from the night of the event.
The prosecution then questioned the officer about the demeanor of Larin-Garcia that night, which was objected to by the defense. Judge Anthony Villalobos overruled this objection.